Richmond Fellowship and NHS team up to run recovery college

Arch Recovery College, Durham

Richmond Fellowship has teamed up with the local NHS Trust in Durham to expand the range of courses on offer at the recovery college to educate people in Durham about mental health and reduce the stigma surrounding it.

The two organisations are expanding the range of courses on offer at the highly successful Arch Recovery College as well as increasing the number of programmes being delivered at other sites to support people in the rural community.

Richmond Fellowship, which works to make mental health recovery a reality, is supporting the Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust (TEWV) through running courses in Durham as well as the surrounding area.

The Arch Recovery College, run by TEWV and based at St Margaret’s Health Centre in Durham, is a learning centre where people with mental health issues, their carers and staff can enrol as students to attend mental wellbeing courses based on recovery principles.

Andy Rowe, locality manager for Richmond Fellowship, expressed his enthusiasm about working with the college and the benefits it can have on people living with mental health problems: “We’re very excited to be working with TEWV on delivering training for the Arch Recovery College in Durham. A recovery college is a space for people to learn more about mental health whether they’re living with mental health problems themselves, know someone who is or simply want to learn more.

“We’ll be offering key courses in stress management, interacting with other people and money management as well as many of the key skills vital for independent living. It’s a great facility for people living in Durham and the surrounding areas and we’re very excited to see our first students come on board and learn more about mental health recovery.”

Claire Chapman, operations manager for the recovery college, added: “The feedback we’ve had so far from students at the recovery college has been really positive; people are welcoming the courses available and finding them really useful. Richmond Fellowship has a wealth of experience in delivering services and support to those with mental health issues and a passion for making recovery a reality. Their values and approach therefore made them a perfect partner to work with in delivering courses at the college.”

The courses will be supported by trained peer tutors with lived experience of mental health problems who will be able to use their experiences to help students on their recovery journey.

Paula Roberts, a 32-year-old peer tutor from Darlington, first received support from Richmond Fellowship two years ago. Since then she has made great progress along her recovery journey and is hoping her experiences can inspire others as she prepares to begin her role as a peer tutor.

She said: “I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder with bipolar tendencies over six years ago. My mental health problems stemmed from childhood experiences of family break-ups. I blamed myself for this and struggled with eating disorders into my twenties.

“Having been supported by Richmond Fellowship for two years I’ve trained as a peer tutor to help other people in similar situations. I’ve dealt with a lot and come through the other side so I can relate to the things people at the college are struggling with.

“If I can help them get to where I am and help people recover and manage their mental health like Richmond Fellowship did for me than I’ll be doing my job right.”

The Arch Recovery College is expanding the number of courses it runs and the areas it covers in the coming months and is appealing for more students to register their interest.

For more information on the Arch Recovery College and to register your interest in the courses on offer contact Arch Recovery College on 01913 843895 or contact them via email here

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