Walking side-by-side: Recovery Colleges revolutionising mental health care

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Mental Health and Social Inclusion, 2018, 22 (1), pp. 18 - 26
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© 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose - The Recovery College model is an innovative approach to providing education to consumers, carers and mental health staff, with the potential to facilitate both personal recovery gains and organisational transformation towards recovery-focused service provision. The purpose of this paper is to explore the experiences of students who attended the South Eastern Sydney Recovery College (SESRC). Design/methodology/approach - An exploratory, descriptive qualitative design was employed with data collected through seven focus group interviews with consumers and mental health staff who had participated in courses run by the SESRC. Thematic analysis of the data was conducted using both deductive and inductive processes in order to interpret the data. Findings - All participants were positive about their involvement in the RC. Four themes emerged from the thematic analysis: Connection with others, hope for the future, the importance of the lived experience, and changing attitudes and systems. Originality/value - The outcomes of this study indicate that the SESRC is achieving its aims in relation to both personal recovery gains, and the potential to impact on service transformation. It highlights the centrality of co-production as a fundamental aspect of the Recovery College model. This paper contributes to the emerging evidence base for this model and provides evidence that this model is applicable to the Australian context.
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