We hope that Sussex Recovery College is a learning organisation. Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Recovery College and its courses was central to the pilots and is part of the ongoing routine operation of the College. Students are helped to reflect on their goals in attending the college and on their progress. Trainers also use reflective practice to consider and improve their own work.
The Recovery College is popular and effective.
Popularity and Attendance
The Recovery College has been popular. During the two pilots over 300 students registered with the college. Attendance rates were about average for adult education courses with attendance of 60-70%. During the pilots the most popular courses were:
1. Using the Arts to Aid Recovery
2. Coping with Depression
3. Coping Strategies and Problem Solving
4. Introduction to Peer Mentoring
5. Climbing for Recovery
2. Managing Depression with Mindfulness
3. Anxiety - Breaking the Cycle
4. Improving your Sleep using CBT
5. Understanding a Diagnosis of Psychosis / Mood Disorders
Progress on Own Goals and Learning outcomes:
We did research to establish how personal goals and Learning outcomes had developed throughout the course on the Pilot projects in 2013. We continue to use this information as routine ouctome measurement. The figures are very encouraging.
- students made significant progress towards their own personal recovery goals
- students made significant progress with the learning outcomes for the courses they took
Effectiveness measured by standardised questionnaires:
Students made significant progress according to a range of standardised questionnaires. These scales are recognised across the mental health services as effective measures of wellbeing and recovery.
The questionnaires used were: the Process of Recovery Questionnaire (QPR), Warwick Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS), Manchester Short Assessment of Quality of Life (MANSA), and CHOICE.
One of the proofs that a project works is whether students would recommend it to others. We ask students for feedback at the end of every course. At Sussex Recovery College, people who completed courses gave a strong, positive response
- 97% said they would recommend the course they did to their friends and family were they in a similar situation.
- 76% students said the courses they did were useful in their day to day lives
- 85% students said their knowledge and skills improved
- Nearly all students said it was helpful that the course they did was facilitated by both peer trainers with lived experience and trainers with professional or clinical experience and that the students were a mixed group of people with mental health challenges, carers and staff learning together.