Recite Me

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    South London Listens – Mental ill health prevention and recovery community summit 

    Community leaders from across South London invite you to the South London Listens mental health summit on Wednesday 16 June 2021 where they will present urgent actions to tackle the looming mental health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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    NHS is still here for you 

    We continue to see patients at all our sites, as well as in their homes, and have a number of measures in place to ensure our sites are Covid secure, including the wearing of face masks and coverings, deep cleaning, one-way signage and cleaning stations.

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Frequently asked questions

We know that it can be confusing when you start something new. You may have questions about our courses or about the college itself. Hopefully you will find answers to your questions below. If not, please contact the team who will be happy to talk to you.

Does it cost anything to attend a course?

Courses are free to all students registered with the Recovery College. To check if you qualify to register with the college see ‘How to Register’.

How long are the courses?

Courses range from a single 3 hr session up to and 8 session course (3 hrs a week, every week, on the same day). Our timetable will clearly show you how long each course is and how many sessions it includes.

How many people can I expect in a class?

Most of our courses have a maximum of 25 places available. Normally you can expect between 7 and 15 people turning up for each session, although there will be times when all 25 attend.

Is there homework?

Some of our courses include skills or exercises that you are asked to practice at home between sessions. I can be challenging but you’ll get the most out of your course if you manage to practice at home.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

No – our courses are about participation rather than note taking. On some courses the trainer will provide you with notes to take away with you.

Is this therapy?

No – the college teaches life skills and helps you to develop tools and techniques that will support you and allow you to take control of your own wellbeing.

Is it confidential?

Yes – you can talk about as much or as little as you want, although we’d encourage all students to participate during the class. The only reason we would have to discuss your details outside of class would be if we were given reason to worry about your safety or the safety of those around you.

How long can I keep coming to the college?

You can keep attending the college for 12 months after you have been discharged from a Trust team or service.

Can I do a course more than once if I feel I need to?

Yes – students do sometimes choose to repeat a course, particularly if they found it challenging the first time around. There are no blocks to repeating a course, however we do ask students to limit how often they repeat our most popular courses – this is to make sure new students get a fair chance to attend these courses as well.

What do I do if I simply don’t know where to start?

This is a common question, and the answer is really simple – come along to one of our open days. We hold these drop in sessions 6 times each year and they’re a great opportunity to chat with a trainer or peer trainer and figure out what courses would work best for you.

mental health and exercise

What is recovery?

One in four of us will suffer from a mental health problem at some time in our lives.

Being diagnosed with mental illness can be very frightening. Sometimes people can lose confidence in themselves and feel very alone and scared.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Recovery is possible for everyone.

In mental health, recovery is the process of rebuilding a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life with a diagnosis of mental health problems.

Recovery is a uniquely personal journey and can mean differnt things to different people.

As the journey is so personal and individual, no-one can tell you what you need to do. Many of the courses we offer will be of help, but over time you will work out, with support, what skills and learning is most important for your recovery.

Recovery often starts with the feeling of hope and our trainers are inspirational and skilled at embodying the principles of recovery.  It involves making sense of and finding meaning in what has happened, becoming an expert in your own self-care, building a new sense of self and purpose and discovering your own resourcefulness.



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Useful resources

Here are some useful resources that provide information about mental illness

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional and educational body for psychiatrists in the UK, which sets standards and promotes excellence in psychiatry and mental healthcare.

A provider of online counselling and treatment for addiction and mental health related issues.

Mind is a mental health charity which provides help and support to those with mental health problems.

Rethink give advice and information on mental illness and are the largest national voluntary sector provider of mental health services and support groups.

YoungMinds is a mental health charity for children and young people, their families and carers.

Publications from Making Space, who provide care services to assist with the wellbeing of people affected by mental ill health, dementia or learning disabilities.

This website contains information about psychosis and was designed for family members and friends of people who have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or another illness that may result in the symptoms of psychosis.

The Mental Health Foundation is a mental health research, policy and service improvement charity. The foundation carries out research, develops practical solutions for better mental health services, campaigns to reduce stigma and discrimination and promotes better mental health for all.

Research and education for mental health professionals.

Centre for Mental Health focuses on criminal justice, employment, mental health at work, recovery and children, with supporting work on broader mental health and public policy.

Search for information about diagnoses and find out about reasearch and funding for mental health projects.

A resource centre provided by the University Hospital of Colombia and Cornell, explaining the symptoms and treatment of those with BPD.



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Recovery College news and events

There’s always lots happening at the Recovery College.

With venues across Wandsworth, Merton, Sutton, Kingston & Richmond and in the Recovery College at Springfield hospital there are always courses and workshops running. If you're unsure which course might work for you then you can come along to one of our open days and chat to the team. We hold these at the start and finish of every term in a variety of locations throughout the borough. 

Our courses have now returned to the classroom. In line with COVID guidance numbers have been reduced and everbody attending is requested to wear a face covering.  Due to venue availability, Merton courses have either been relocated to the College or will be delivered via MS Teams so please pay close attention to the timetable before booking.  


In May 2018 the college hosted an evening seminar on youth violence

To mark Mental Health Awareness week the College approached the Charity BLAM (black learning achievement and mental health) to run an evening seminar on the impact of youth violence.  The session was open to all, with panellists ranging from a SEN Children specialist, to a Youth Offending Team Worker and a Social Activist.

The aim of the event was to exchange ideas in tackling the trauma associated with youth violence - what support exists now and new ways to potentially approach the issue.  


 Recovery College Welcomed International Visitor to Kick Start 2018

2018 was a busy year for the Recovery College, with two international visits coordinated by IMROC (Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change) looking at best practice in the UK.

January kicked off with a visit from a study group from Bulgaria, looking at best practice to set up their own Recovery College. All attendees were members of GIP-SOFIA (Global Initiative on Psychiatry). With a truly diverse group including clinical directors, peer support workers, autism association members and learning disability specialists, it was a busy day with a lot of discussion. Thankfully, having a native Bulgarian speaker on our team of trainers made a huge difference in spanning the language barrier.

“I would like to thank you for the warm welcome, the opportunity to ask all our questions and the exceptional surprise to answer us in pure Bulgarian.

 I hope that with what we have learned we will be able to "translate" the model to the Bulgarian context, and next time we will expect you and your colleagues in Bulgaria so that we can share.”

Valentina Hristakeva, Director, Global Initiative on Psychiatry-Sofia (17th Jan, 2018)

Bulgarian Delegation Feb 2018

In February we hosted a team of Psychiatrists, Researchers, Social Workers and Academics from Japan. Coordinated by IMROC, the team were here as part of a week-long UK tour of Recovery Colleges, Early Intervention groups and vocational and community services.

The group’s aim was to learn about the stages for preparation and set up of a recovery college, understanding how it sits within the infrastructure of a wider recovery-orientated organisation. This included exploring the core operational structures and policies for running a college, and participating in college courses as a student

The morning was spent covering how the Recovery College works with focus on our core principles of coproduction, self-directed learning, belief in our students and a coaching educational style This continued with a question and answer session to help our guests problem solve the issues they are experiencing. The afternoon consisted of our guests experiencing a taster session of our Coping with Stress course.

Judging by their comments we think the day went well:

“We would like to thank you for your warm welcome and very kind hospitality extended to us. We are very impressed by your innovative ways to value one's lived experience and seek to ingrain co-production into the mental health services.

 We have learned the heart of recovery college and have been encouraged to set up more recovery colleges in Japan. We really appreciate all you have done for us.”

Recovery College Study Tour Team from Japan (19th Feb, 2018)


 Japanese Delegation 2018










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