Recovery College



about the recovery college


Recovery Colleges are spread across the country and provide mental health recovery training. Our courses are aimed at service users and carers of service users. These courses are free to service users.

Quite often these courses are free to service users of the mental health system. These colleges aim to help increase awareness and understanding of recovery and self-management.

They aim to challenge stigma related to mental health. Their educational courses about mental health recovery and self-management are meant to compliment existing mental health services.


Recovery Colleges are co-produced so all courses are co-developed, co-delivered and co-attended by people who have lived experience of mental health related issues.

The Recovery College content is developed by:

  1. People with lived experience of mental health problems.
  2. Friends & family of those with mental health related issues.
  3. Those who work or have worked in professional caring roles.


When we use the term recovery we are meaning that;

A person with mental illness can recover even though the illness is not ‘cured’. Recovery is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life even with the limitations caused by illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness. (Anthony, 1993)

Mental illness can affect us all. In fact, around one in four people will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives. So due to this our courses are relevant to all, whether you are a service user/friend, family member, and/or health professional. When you come on our courses we do not differentiate or label people apart from with the title of ‘student’ – the Recovery College welcomes all.


Here’s a video that explores the journey and experience from the perspective of two trainers at the Southern Health Recovery College. Jenny Hargrave and Chris Wagg explain their roles as trainer at the college and about their philosophy, our approach, and the benefits they have gained from working at the college. Jenny and Chris V2 from Shedlight on Vimeo.

Recovery College Introductory Videos

The Southern Health Recovery College have kindly given me permission to use some of the pre-course content from their website.

They ask all of their students to watch these introductory videos before booking on their first course with us. These videos will give you basic knowledge of two of the important key concepts of Hope and Recovery that underpin the courses that they offer. 


Understanding Recovery

Explore the concept of Recovery in Mental Health and the main themes that arise.

Discovering Hope

Gain an understanding of hope in the context of mental health recovery

Building Hope - Sensing Hope

Take a look at what might get in the way of hope. Then look at building hope through the five senses

Building Hope - Finding Hope

Learn where to look for hope, what might drain our hope and why it is important to invest in hope in our recoveries

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