Yesterday (2 September), the Brighton and Hove Recovery College hosted a graduation event to congratulate students who have completed courses in mental health recovery during the summer term.
Established in April 2014 and delivered as a partnership between Southdown and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the Recovery College uses education in an innovative and inclusive way to support recovery of people with mental health challenges.
44 people have completed a range of 10 courses including ‘managing depression’, ‘managing psychosis’, ‘work and wellbeing’ and ‘returning to learning’. After four to sixweeks of attending regular classes and learning, each student was awarded a Certificate of Achievement by Brighton and Hove’s Mayor, Councillor Brian Fitch, for their hard work and efforts.
The graduation event was held at The Friends Meeting House on Ship Street in Brighton. The afternoon’s celebrations included an awards presentation and speeches. Students also shared how courses have helped them and course trainers, all of whom have experience of mental health challenges themselves, talked about their experiences of the summer term of the college.
Kate Webb, Brighton and Hove Recovery College Co-ordinator at Southdown, said, “The Recovery College uses education in a supportive learning environment to help people become experts in their own self-care and recovery. I’m so proud of all the students who completed courses. It’s not been easy for many. Every day though I saw real commitment from people wanting to overcome their individual challenges and become better equipped to manage their mental health.”
Martin Dominy, Head of Mental Health Services at Southdown, added, “At any one time, between one fifth and a quarter of adult population will be experiencing a mental health problem significant enough to adversely affect their health and wellbeing, potentially threatening their job, relationship or home.
“Too often mental health is misunderstood and overlooked. It’s vital we continue to develop the care and support people with mental health challenges in Sussex need.”
Recovery College student, Peter Harris (54) from Hove, completed ‘Returning to Learning’ and ‘Work and Wellbeing’ courses. He said, “Both courses were really helpful. I’m looking for a job at the moment and the courses have really boosted my confidence. I would never have done a presentation before but as part of the courses I gave presentations in front of the class. I’m also better at interacting with people. I’d definitely recommend the college.”
The Autumn term of the Brighton and Hove Recovery College starts at the end of September. There is an open day on Thursday, 4 September for people interested in attending any of the courses to find out more and talk to course teachers and former students. Held at the Brighthelm Centre on North Road in Brighton from 11am-3pm, it is open to all and free to attend.