Collaborative courses for mental wellbeing
Our courses are co-designed, and co-facilitated by people with personal experience of mental health challenges, who deliver in collaboration with professionals and educational trainers.
Caroline, co-facilitator and Pharmacist
‘Speaking as someone who has accessed a course and also delivered one, I have been both humbled and honoured to be a student and a course leader working with an amazing team! I would recommend everyone checks the courses available. Whether you’re seeking support, being curious or require personal learning/growth, there is something for all’
Marie, course participant
‘When I did the wrap course. I never really thought that I would get so much out of it. Initially I was joining due to working in the perinatal, mental health service. But my gosh totally life changing to me. Thinking about what I’m like when I’m well, building up wellness tools, daily maintenance and when things are slipping. I’m looking forward to the 2nd of wrap and also volunteering for Leeds recovery college in the future. I’ve made new friends. Made more time for myself. Learning from others. Honestly recommend to everyone.’
Heather, co-facilitator and volunteer
‘The college is a place where I can feel accepted and supported to try new ways of peer working. I can design and deliver courses with other people; that has been a rewarding creative process for me.’
Michelle, course participant
‘The Recovery College is a wonderful addition to Mental Health Services in Leeds – everybody is friendly and also relatable because many have lived experience of mental health challenges. There is also such a wide offering of activities! For me, it was a place where I could go to learn about myself – learn new ways of managing my mental health / looking after myself – but most importantly to connect with others and feel less alone. During lockdown it was so helpful that services continued and made available online, but I’m looking forward to meeting face-to-face again soon!’
Jemma, co-facilitator and Dietician
‘I have had a fantastic experience getting involved in the Leeds recovery college. It provides a unique opportunity where co-facilitators, volunteers and students can work closely and get the most out of courses using a combination of sharing lived experience and theory. Everyone has been so welcoming and I always left meet-ups and courses feeling more positive than when I joined them.’
Simon, co-facilitator and Recovery College Manager
‘The College’s ethos encourages people to focus on wellbeing and in thinking about what we all need to do to stay well, to spot the stressors and triggers that we all experience as part of our mental health, to recover and to build resilience. The approach is very much collaborative not ‘prescribed’. That’s because the college puts equal value on personal and professional perspectives. We can all learn from each other.’
Mark, co-facilitator and volunteer
‘Something that I find helpful with my mental health is the ‘5 ways to wellbeing’. One of these 5 ways is ‘keep learning’. I find that the recovery college is a good opportunity to do this. Courses are participatory. I have been a student on some courses, but I am also involved in helping to facilitate some courses – it is sometimes said that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it. The courses are, as the prospectus puts it, ‘co-designed and co-facilitated by people who have experienced their own mental health challenges, working alongside health professionals…’ This way of working, seeking to place coproduction at the centre of how the recovery college operates, is important to me.’
Julia, co-facilitator and course participant
‘My journey takes me on different turns in the road everyday. Recovery is not a race it’s something I do at my own pace and in my own time. Standing in front of me was a staircase full of challenges but that didn’t mean I had to climb every step at once. I took my first step and joined the college. With the lived experience, strength and knowledge of others this enabled me to start taking the steps I needed to plan my own recovery.’
Jaynes experience of Leeds Recovery College
Hi I’m Jayne and I’ve been volunteering with and for Leeds Recovery College for around 18 months, starting initially as a co-facilitator and developing myself to the point I now help to create workshops by bringing my lived experience to the content.
After my own WRAP in November of 2019, I realised that the whole ethos of the Leeds Recovery College and the people I’d met aligned well with my own and I wanted to give something back by becoming a volunteer co-facilitator
I immediately felt fully supported as I started my fledgling volunteering career by co-facilitating a WRAP course on-line, due to the unmentionable pandemic. Not only do I receive full-back-up and support during live co-facilitation, from more experienced facilitators, but there is also a full library of courses and workshops available to enhance my skills and help me to tell my personal story in a beneficial way.
I really enjoy seeing how my mental health journey adds value to others’ lives as that one tit-bit of information really makes a difference to them. I also enjoy the- camaraderie with the team of volunteers and staff and absolutely love the fun side of things in the quizzes and informal meet-ups.
I thoroughly enjoy meeting individuals from all walks of life, some with diagnosed conditions others living with a more private approach. I have found each and every one of them brings something to my life experience and journey and I know that my efforts are appreciated because we, as volunteers, constantly receive feedback from attendees, telling us they are learning and taking something from sharing our personal journeys alongside the science and structure that sits behind each course.
I volunteer as much or as little as I want with no pressure ever to take on more that I am able or comfortable with, and no-one at the LRC would ever be left to bear the charge on our own. This, along with knowing that I am able to share as much of my personal journey as I am comfortable with keeps me coming back to learn and share with all the wonderful people I have met and true friends I have made as a volunteer with Leeds Recovery College.
News and press articles about us and other Recovery Colleges
West Leeds Dispatch: New Wortley course helps improve mental health August 2022
The Yorkshire Evening Post: Leeds mental health trust to stage first ever menopause festival April 2022
Leeds Academic Health Partnership: Spot light on Leeds and York Partnership NHS foundation Trust (part 1): Leeds Recovery College May 2021
The Yorkshire Post: How Yorkshire’s mental health colleges are supporting people on the road to recovery March 2020
The British Psychological society: Rebuilding lives in the Recovery College February 2020
Caring together in Woodhouse and Little London: Leeds has a Recovery College February 2019
BBC News: GP prescribes classes to boost recovery August 2019