Introduction to Buckinghamshire Recovery College

The Buckinghamshire Recovery College is a new and exciting educational environment for people who are accessing adult mental health services from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in Buckinghamshire, their supporters and NHS staff, volunteers and students.

Buckinghamshire Recovery College offers a range of courses co-designed to contribute to wellbeing and recovery, supporting people to recognise their own resourcefulness, talents and skills in order to become experts in their own self care, make informed choices and achieve the things they want in life. These courses aren’t therapy, nor are they a clinical intervention but we do believe that through education, people can learn how to take care of themselves, and others, more effectively. What makes our courses so unique is that they are co-produced and co-delivered by a Peer Tutor (someone with lived experience) and a Tutor by Training (Mental Health Care Professional). Combining expertise by experience and professional expertise are vital ingredients in the production and delivery
of all our courses.

At Buckinghamshire Recovery College, you have the opportunity to explore our unique curriculum of free courses which have been designed to increase your skills, knowledge and understanding about mental health and recovery to equip you with the tools to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Our aim is to bring people together to realise and inspire individual and collective potential, recognising strengths and successes so that you can help take control back and become an expert in your own wellbeing and recovery and live the life that you wish to live.provides courses which can help you understand your experiences, ow you manage your own Recovery, and also how to support someone else with their journey. We do this by offering a variety of free courses, workshops and seminars at venues in your local community.

Introduction

Buckinghamshire Recovery College offers a variety of free courses, workshops and seminars at venues in your local community which can help you understand your experiences, manage your own Recovery, and also support someone else with their journey. These courses vary in length from one-off workshops to those that run for a number of weeks and our tutors bring a broad range of expertise to the courses they deliver.

The College has a philosophy of co-development, co-production and shared decision making, and the courses and workshops are delivered by a variety of organisations and available on a range of topics:

Building your life
Understanding / Experience of mental health conditions
Developing practical skills
Living well and enjoying life
Opportunities

Our aim is to promote hope, opportunity and choice. We want to help you take control and become an expert in your own wellbeing and recovery in order that you can get on with your life despite any mental health challenges you might face.

  • To provide people with the tools and skills to self-manage, through the partnership of expertise by experience and professional expertise.
  • To enable people to take control of their lives and be able to move beyond mental health services and mental illness.
  • To enable people to make the best use of mental health service’s.

What is co-production?

The courses we provide are put together and delivered in partnership with those who have lived experience of mental health challenges (peer tutor) and those who have professional experience/training (for example, an occupational therapist or psychologist). This is known as co-production and co-delivery.

What is recovery?

A person’s journey of recovery is a highly individual process. It is about developing a meaningful and satisfying life regardless of a condition or diagnosis; using and developing your skills and talents to become all you want to be and do all you want to do!

Specialist treatment like therapy and medication may be important but it is only a part of the story. Everyone’s journey of recovery is individual and uniquely personal – there is no formula, but there does appear to be three things that are critical:

  • Hope– recovery needs hope. Relationships are key in supporting and fostering hope. It is difficult to believe in yourself if everyone around you thinks you will never amount to very much. When you find it hard to believe in yourself and your possibilities you need others to believe in you and hold on to hope for you
  • Choice – choosing your goals. Recovery involves taking back control of your life and destiny; finding purpose, meaning and direction in life; deciding what is important to you and finding new dreams and ambitions.  It may also include taking control of your own recovery and self care and working out ways of managing problems so they don’t get in the way of you pursuing your goals and deciding what help and support you need in order to pursue your ambitions
  • Opportunity– recovery is impossible without opening up opportunity for a life beyond illness.  Doing the things that give your life value such as meaningful occupation, work, and participation in community life and leisure activities.
  • What is a Peer Tutor?

    A Peer Tutor is someone who has lived experience of mental health problems and has shown that they have been able to use recovery tools to sustain good management of their difficulties. We have Peer Tutors from a wide range of mental Health challenges giving us the ability to provide a good range of course from anything from Mindfulness to Managing psychosis. All our Peer Tutors have training to teach and support as well as supervision to make sure that any issues that arise can be dealt with in the best way possible. Many Peer Tutors will have gone on courses themselves to widen their own knowledge of Recovery and may have professional training in other areas of mental health and teaching.

    Peer tutors’ lived experience may also come from their experience of being a supporter, relative or carer of someone with mental health difficulties.

    Peer Tutors are responsible for co-developing and co-producing courses alongside a Tutor by Training (mental health practitioner or clinician) who has experience through training but can also, and quite often, have had mental health challenges of their own at one time or another.