FAQ's

Courses

How long are the courses and workshops?

Our in person courses last up to 8 weeks and are normally 2 hours per week.  We sometimes run workshops as well and they are normally around 3 hours long.

Our online courses last up to 4 weeks and are normally 2 hours per week.  We also run one off workshops that are 90 minutes long - these are all on Zoom.

Our prospectus and timetable detail the length of courses and their dates and times.

How many courses can I apply for at once?

You can apply for up to three courses per term, with priority going to the first course. This is to ensure equity and also we have found that most people find up to three courses in any one term is about right. If there are spaces available you might be offered another course.

  

  

Who teaches the courses?

All courses are taught by a peer trainer with lived expertise or personal experience of mental health challenges alongside a trainer who is a mental health professional. The peer trainer will also have a teaching qualification. Trainers may be employed by any of our partner organisations such as East Sussex College, Southdown, Coastal West Sussex Mind,  Richmond Fellowship, Brighton Housing Trust.  

Administration

How do I book onto a course?

All courses are advertised in this prospectus and on our website. You can register via our website via the 'Register & Sign Up' button on our home page. 

Can I be sent a copy of the prospectus? 

Yes, if you call or e-mail us we can post or e-mail you a copy of our latest prospectus. 

Where can I find out more information about a course?

To find out more about a specific course either attend one of our open days or contact us directly and we will put you in touch with a course trainer. 

When are the next open days?

We hold open days in each campus area at the beginning of every term - the dates, times and locations of our open days may vary, so for the details of your next open day either visit our website or contact us directly. 

When can I contact the Sussex Recovery College team? 

You can contact us by phone Monday to Friday between the hours of 09:00 - 17:00 - our course sessions are normally held between the hours of 10:00 and 16:00 Monday to Friday. 

Can I book onto courses being delivered in another area?

You can apply for courses in different parts of the county, but priority will be given to students living in the campus area of the course. This does not apply to the Brighton and Hove Recovery College - as they are only open to students living in Brighton and Hove.

Are refreshments provided on courses? 

We are not currently able to offer refreshments on courses, so please bring everything you need to be comfortable for the session. 

Do I have to pay to attend a course?

No!  All of our courses are free to adults of all ages with mental health related challenges, their supporters (relatives or carers) the staff of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and our partner organisations. 

How long after applying will I have to wait to be accepted on a course?

You will usually get an email confirmation from our admin team within two to three weeks of your application. If you have not heard from us three weeks after applying, please do get in touch.

Will you write in my notes?

No!  You are attending Recovery College as a student rather than a patient.  We only access Carenotes when we have serious concerns about a student's wellbeing or mental health or if we think there are risks they may harm themself or someone else. 

You may find it helpful to discuss what you learn on the course and your progress with your care team.

Eligibility

Who can apply to attend the college?

The college is open to people in Sussex who experience moderate to severe mental health challenges, their relatives, friends and carers and the staff of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust & our  partner organisations. Some courses are designed to promote the engagement of marginalised groups and so are only open to these people, for example people with dementia, people with learning disabilities, people in acute inpatient units, people from BME background or LGBT community. Please note Brighton and Hove campus courses are only open to people with mental health challenges who live in Brighton and Hove and their carers, or staff from partner organisations of the Recovery College.

Do I need to be well to attend the college?

How much you want to attend the college is more important than how well you are. The college does not discriminate against people on the basis of how well they are. We may be able to provide you with extra support to enable you to attend when you are less well. Some people prefer to take time off from classes when they are unwell, this is also Ok but please do let your trainers know.

Do I need to have a mental health issue to attend the college?

You need to have a mental health issue or be a relative, friend or carer of someone with mental health issues or be a member of staff of one of the partner organisations. Currently the college is free to people with moderate to severe mental health challenges, their supporters (relatives, friends and carers) and staff. 

Do I need a referral from my doctor or lead practitioner before I apply?

No you don't need a referral from a health professional.  The ethos of our college is that our students enrol on any course they think might help and they might enjoy. Health professionals can support you to go through the prospectus and help you apply for a course if you would like some extra help.  Our open days are a great way to find out more about what we do and what we are able to offer.

Where is the Recovery College?

 

The college has it's administrative headquarters at Aldrington House in Hove but is divided into five local campuses - 2 in West Sussex and 3 in East Sussex. Each campus has a central point and Courses take place in local venues.

 

Please see our prospectus for more details about each of the campuses.

 

Learning Support

What will I need to bring to the course sessions?

Usually you will need to bring a pen and paper to class.If you forget to bring them, don’t worry, still come along and we can usually lend you stationary. There may be some classes where you need to wear more relaxed clothing or sportswear – you will learn about this when you get your joining information.

Will there be anyone (a buddy) to help me attend sessions?

Yes, in some circumstances we can arrange for you to have a buddy to help you attend sessions. Buddies are volunteers who support students to get to college. This might include going to meet you at home and travelling to courses together or attending courses with you. During registration and when we first meet you, we’ll ask you about any physical, mental or learning disabilities, and other support needs you may have. We can then match you with a buddy. We can also send you text reminders to help you remember when your course is.

Do I need to bring my carer to college with me if I have one?

You don’t need to bring your carer to college if you have one, however you are welcome to bring them if you want to. Please make sure they also enrol on the course as we limit our courses to 12 students (sometimes less depending on the venue).  Equally your relative or carer may want to attend a course in their own right. Some carers have attended in order to share the information they learn with the person they care about, others for their own benefit.

 

Other Information

How do I apply for a course?

You can apply via our website by clicking the 'Register & Sign Up' button on our home page. 

Do the courses cost anything to attend?

Currently all courses at the Recovery College are free to attend for people with moderate to severe mental health challenges, their supporters (relatives, friends and carers) and staff from partner organisations.

How long after applying will I have to wait to be accepted on a course?

We will get back to you within two to three weeks of receiving your registration forms.  If you do not hear from us within two to three weeks, please give us a call or email.

If you are on a reserve list we will let you know before the course starts if a place becomes available. Please let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend a course you are booked on so we may allocate the place to someone else. The reserve list applies to the current term only and is not carried forward to the next term.

Will I be able to claim travelling or other expenses from the college?

No unfortunately not. 

Will you write in my notes?

No!  You are attending Recovery College as a student rather than a patient.  We only access Carenotes when we have serious concerns about a student's wellbeing or mental health or if we think there are risks they may harm themself or someone else. 

You may find it helpful to discuss what you learn on the course and your progress with your care team.

How can I get involved with the Recovery College?

Find out how you can be part of the Recovery College by becoming a peer trainer, buddy or student rep under the getting involved section of this website. 

 What do you expect from me as a student?

We expect students to:

  •  arrive on time and to let us know if they are unable to attend a course or specific teaching session for whatever reason
  •  be respectful of each other, the trainers and other people involved with the college
  •  let us know how we can support their learning and wellbeing whilst attending courses
  •  come to college to learn and work towards their own goals

Sussex Recovery College has a student charter and code of conduct which outlines more about what we expect from you and what you can expect from us. This has been co-produced by Recovery College staff (including peer trainers, other trainers and admin staff) working closely with the student union.

Is Recovery College right for me?

You are the best person to decide whether the Recovery College is right for you. The Recovery College is for adults of all ages in Sussex with mental health or related challenges. You are likely to benefit from attending the college if you have a mental health challenge that impacts negatively on your life or you want to build on your recovery. You can also be a carer, a family member or a practitioner or member of staff working for one of the partner organisations. You need to be able to attend public spaces (with a carer / buddy if needed) and want to learn and set goals towards recovery.