We really believe in the approach of Recovery Colleges. There are now over 70 of these colleges in the UK. To evaluate how this works for Cornwall, we are working with the clinical research team of Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust. When you enroll as a student you will be offered the opportunity to be involved in the research. You are under no obligation to be involved, but It will really help us if you choose to do so. All information collected as part of the research will be anonymized and your Learning Support Worker will talk to you about how to get involved.
Lay summary for the research
There has been a growing consensus in the mental health academic and clinical community that mental health recovery depends on more than simply managing symptoms and prescribing treatment and therapy. This new consensus supports the shift towards the rebuilding of individuals lives through a more recovery-focussed approach that assists people in their own journey of recovery. The development of Recovery Colleges both in the UK and internationally has been central to this new approach.
There are now almost 80 Recovery Colleges (RC) in the UK. They provide an alternative to primary care (GP) or secondary care (Specialist mental health services) support. RCs are open to anyone recovering from mental ill health who wishes to attend. Those attending become students, and have opportunity to explore and develop possibilities for enhancing and driving their own recovery. They attend for approximately 12 weeks.
Recovery College Cornwall (RCC) is the first RC in Cornwall. Our research is focussed on understanding if RCC is helping individuals on their mental health recovery journey and what components of RCC are facilitating or restricting this process. All individuals who attend RCC are eligible to participate in the study.
Participants will be asked to complete two questionnaires about their recovery and well-being. They will be completed on enrolment to the college, when they leave and three months later. We also ask participants if we can access their routine RCC data and medical records. This will help us understand if individuals appear to be recovering, such as whether they are working or using health services less. We will also complete focus groups with students to better understand what they believe are the strengths and weaknesses of the college and whether they have remained engaged as a college student. Our study will last for over two and a half years.
Jon Allard PhD
Senior Clinical Studies Officer | Academic Lead
Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Research Team