The Discovery Centre is a recovery college that aims to restore hope, increase people’s sense of control over their lives and support them to take opportunities to pursue their goals, interests and aspirations.
Courses and workshops are co-produced with patients, where possible, and run across four areas. These vary in content, length and learning, and include:
Co-production means that the course is designed and delivered by people with personal experience and people with professional experience. Working together in an equal partnership, the results are effective.
Located at the medium secure Dewans Centre, with a second venue for low and open wards at Café Oasis, the Discovery Centre takes its inspiration from the Nottingham Recovery College and focuses on rebuilding lives rather than reducing symptoms.
Creating links with the local community, workshops include those with Rethink Mental Health, South Devon College and an environmental art therapist.
There are also courses to help patients deal with familiar issues, like coping with low moods and depression, dealing with grief and loss, anger management and many others. The focus is on providing useful and practical advice for those using our services.
Part of the strength of the centre is in its strong focus on co-creation – working together with people who use our services to create and deliver the events. It’s proved to be a highly successful approach.
In fact, more than half of the residents at Langdon have engaged in some way with the centre. For those who don’t want to take a course, there is a large recovery library with self-help resources. Those who might need some advice can speak to a recovery coordinator who can help patients decide on the most appropriate course for their needs.
The centre reflects recovery principles in all aspects, and as a result, feedback has been very positive. “I have particularly enjoyed working with my co-producer and enjoyed the conversations that have resulted as our sessions have developed. In particular, people thinking about what recovery means to them and how they believe services can support them to work towards recovery."
The Discovery Centre is also having an impact on those who come in to deliver courses in partnership with patients. "I have greatly enjoyed co-facilitating sessions, seeing how much the participants got from them and feel I've got a great deal from it personally as well." Explained one external course facilitator.
The recovery college model first emerge in from America. The first recovery college was set up in Arizona in 2000.
The model arrived in UK in 2010 and there are now over 30 recovery colleges across the country. The purpose of a recovery college is to support people's recovery from mental health difficulties through learning and education that is co-produced by people with lived experience and people with professional expertise.
Recovery colleges aim to provide a safe place for people to learn new skills (and expand on existing skills) together, which helps to increase their connection with others, and their sense of control over their lives.
Emphasis is placed on people's talents and strengths, with the aim of inspiring optimism. Students are encouraged to consider their opportunities for the future, creating a culture of personal empowerment and an underlying feeling of hope.
If you agree to co-produce a course at the Discovery Centre we hope the following guidelines will help you:
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