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SLaM Recovery College Evaluation

What is this research?

The SLaM Recovery College based in South London has been running for almost three years and provides a wide range of recovery-focused courses for SLaM (South London and Maudsley) mental health service users, carers and staff. All courses are co-produced by a service user trainer and a health or social care professional, and this coproduction applies to both content development and classroom teaching. Courses are delivered to mixed classes of service users, carers and staff, who learn alongside each other about the key concepts of recovery.

Available courses include understanding mental health diagnoses, strategies for self-management, and relevant skills development. Students are also encouraged to connect with each other and with the wider community. Eventually they may use the recovery college as a stepping stone into volunteering or further education.

Why is this research important?

SLaM Recovery College adopts a recovery-based approach to mental health. This means it focuses on being able to live in the most positive and productive way while managing a mental health condition, rather than focusing on eradicating symptoms of mental illness, as seen in more traditional services. In this way, recovery colleges could provide an important complementary approach which may serve to supplement and build on the clinical work done within traditional mental health care services. Helping people learn how to take care of their wellbeing has positive effects on how they feel day-to-day and may help to prevent people from experiencing mental health problems in the future. Across the country, a number of recovery colleges have opened and are developing the number and scope of the courses they provide. This means it is important that we learn what works so that they can invest in the most effective projects.

What is McPin doing?

We are carrying out an evaluation for the SLaM Recovery College throughout the spring term of 2016. We will use a variety of methods, including interviews with staff, students and local stakeholders, and a survey of students using recognised measures such as the Questionnaire about Process of Recovery (QPR).

 

What is the current status of the project?

The evaluation was completed in the autumn of 2016.

 

Who do I contact for more information?

For more information about the project or to speak to a researcher, please email rosethompson@mcpin.org.