Innovative Solution of the Recovery College
Mental healthcare is changing and the need for more innovative, local responses are required to deal with the person and community-centered recovery-oriented services. Collaborative practices in education and mental health competencies form an innovative approach to understanding and valuing the knowledge and experience of people with lived experiences. The individuals [students] feel empowered to engage, participate and make informed decisions or actions towards recovery or management of their conditions. Supported and/or guided by a partnership approach with discipline experts to develop a route for recovery or progression to safeguard a positive outcome.
In the context of Irish national policy documents in mental health, “A Vision for Change: Report of the expert group on Mental Health Policy” (Department of Health & Children, 2006) and the “Quality Framework for Mental Health Services in Ireland” (Mental Health Commission, 2007), promote Recovery as a guiding principle in terms of service development, delivery and evaluation. Kotter (2007) and HSE (2008) models of organizational change, along with the ImROC (Sainsbury Centre, 2010) methodology on fostering Recovery practices, to guide the development of a model of change that would be appropriate to the Irish context. The Connecting for Life’ Strategic Goal 2: To support local communities’ capacity to prevent and respond to suicidal behaviour.
The Principles of Recovery Building a meaningful and satisfying life, as defined by people themselves
- Enabling and supporting people to become active in taking responsibility for decisions about their life, their care and the services they use
- Focusing on strengths, solutions, health and wellness
- Working with people to identify and support progress towards their personal ambitions and goals Inspiring hope for the future; sometimes holding hope for people when they are unable to hold it for themselves
- Developing relationships between professionals and people using our services which is based on mutual respect and partnership working
- Enabling people to take on meaningful, satisfying and valued social roles and relationships, and to take advantage of opportunities to participate in local communities
- Supporting the wellbeing of staff and cultivating their capacity for hope, creativity, compassion, realism and resilience Including family and other supporters as partners in people’s recovery wherever possible
- Adopting respectful, non-stigmatizing and clear language in all of our communication
Devon Partnership NHS Trust (2014)
Stigma and awareness raising is perhaps the greatest challenge facing Irish society. Over 50% of people reportedly live with the symptoms of mental ill-health for long periods without accessing mental health advice or treatment. This is due mainly to the stigma that surrounds mental health as well as lack of knowledge about mental health problems and sources of help (St Patrick’s University Hospital, 2011).
 Kotter, J. P. (2007). Leading change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Harvard Business Reviews 10 must Reads on Change, 2 (p 4 – 11)
 Health Service Executive (2008). Improving Our Services: A User’s Guide to Managing Change in the Health Service Executive. HSE: Dublin.
 Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, Shepherd, G., Boardman, J., & Burns, M. (2010). Implementing recovery: A methodology for organisational change. Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health.