Leeds’ new Recovery College launches its first mental wellbeing course

Training courses in Leeds that focus on helping people to develop the knowledge and strength to overcome life’s challenges

The Recovery College is led by Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and aims to involve a wide range of different people and organisations across the city. Simon Burton, the development manager, is responsible for the development of the new College.

Recovery Colleges offer educational and training courses that focus on living mentally and physically well. They are run like any other college, with a prospectus of courses that people sign up to. The thing that makes a Recovery College different is that people with lived experience of mental health challenges help design and deliver courses in partnership with health professionals, education providers and trainers.

As part of the development of the Leeds Recovery College, the first course to be delivered is Wellness Recovery Action Planning.

What is Wellness Recovery Action Planning?

The Wellness Recovery Action Plan® or WRAP was developed by a group of people in the USA and particularly by Mary Ellen Copeland, who had personal experience of mental health, to share practical strategies for regaining and sustaining their own wellness. This work led to the development of WRAP as a way to manage some of the mental health experiences that the group shared.

WRAP is now used worldwide by people who are dealing with all kinds of health and life challenges. WRAP helps you notice when things don’t seem quite right, and also supports you to get back to feeling your best.

 How does WRAP support recovery?

Simon comments “I have had my own WRAP plan for so long now that it has become second nature and importantly it means that I look after myself better. I have more healthy routines, I know more about things that prompt unhelpful feelings and I recognise more the times and situations where I particularly feel under pressure and when my mental health isn’t good. WRAP has completely changed how I view what is important to me and my own mental health.

WRAP has helped me to make positive changes in my life. I am more able to recognise and action plan the triggers and situations that cause anxiety and put strategies in place meaning that I take action. I feel more equipped and less likely to experience depression. I am more resilient, have stronger boundaries and know more about what is and isn’t acceptable to me. I am more self-confident and now believe that whatever happens I can handle it.”

WRAP can work for all sorts of people

WRAP does not necessarily replace other treatments, however it is evidence based and has greatly improved the recovery and long term health of many people. Over the last 4 years Simon has worked with lots of people, from all different walks of life (and the demands that come with those individual experiences) to develop their own plans through WRAP courses.

Here are two short videos of people sharing their personal perspective:

WRAP – Experiences, Benefits and Rewards from Jane Young @ earth on Vimeo.

Heather’s WRAP Story from Jane Young @ earth on Vimeo.

For more WRAP® info, have a look at this website about the Copeland Center.

The structured delivery of the WRAP course and its strong values and ethics, encourage people to focus on their individual strengths and move away from their perceived deficits and as such has benefit for people with all different health needs. Leeds Recovery College will also encourage people who have developed their own plans to share their learning by co-facilitating and supporting future WRAP courses.

As part of the process to include people in the development of the Leeds Recovery College, they are going to deliver Wellness Recovery Action Planning Courses from February 2019.

The College is running an introductory session on 11 February 2019 with the full course starting on 25 February. Sign up today if you’re interested.

Get in touch if you can help

The College is developing its prospectus and Simon is appealing for anyone who can help in developing and delivering some of the courses.

Email: simon.burton1@nhs.net
Mobile: 07970 905102
Follow Simon on Twitter: @SimonRecoveryC1