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Evaluating the SLaM Recovery College

 

What is this research?

The SLaM Recovery College based in South London has been running for almost three years and provides a wide range of recovery focused courses for SLaM mental health service users, carers and staff. All courses are co-produced by a service user trainer and a health or social care professional as a team, and this coproduction applies to both content development and classroom teaching. Courses are delivered to mixed classes of service users, carers and staff, who all learn alongside each other about key the concepts of recovery. Available courses include understanding a variety of mental health diagnoses, strategies for self-management, and relevant skills development. Students are also encouraged to connect with each other and with the wider community, and eventually may use the recovery college as a stepping stone into volunteering or further education.

 

Why is this research important?

SLaM Recovery College adopts a recovery based approach to mental health, focusing on being able to live in the most positive and productive way while managing a mental health condition, rather than focusing on eradicating symptoms of mental illness as seen in more traditional services. In this way recovery colleges could provide an important complementary approach which may serve to supplement and build on the clinical work done within traditional mental health care services. Helping people to learn how to take care of their wellbeing has positive effects on how they feel from day-to-day and may help to prevent people from experiencing mental health problems in the future. Across the country, a number of recovery colleges have opened and are developing the number and scope of the courses they provide so it is important that we learn what works so that they can invest in the most effective projects.

 

What are we doing?

We are carrying out an evaluation for the Recovery College throughout the spring term in 2016. We will use a variety of methods, including interviews with staff, students and local stakeholders, and a survey of students using recognised measures like the Questionnaire about Process of Recovery (QPR).

What is the current status of the project?

The project began in December 2015 and will end in August 2016.

Who do I contact for more information?

For more information about the project, or to speak to a researcher, please email rosethompson@mcpin.org.