What is a Recovery College?
A Recovery College is part of a national initiative which allows adults to access activities and learning experiences, build mutual support, and enjoy a sense of purpose to help with their emotional or mental health.
Northumberland Recovery College is co-ordinated by Everyturn Mental Health, and enables adults across Northumberland to access courses and workshops that promote well-being and good mental health. We work collaboratively with students and Northumberland based organisations to make sure we are meeting the needs of the local communities. We don’t have a physical building but work with local facilitators to run sessions in community venues across the county.
Who is the Recovery College for?
The NRC is open to all adults who live or work in Northumberland. Some people come along to our sessions because they’ve been feeling a little lonely, some might feel anxious or stressed. Some might be managing a complex mental health condition and some just want to be part of their community.
We believe that mental health affects us all at some point in our lives, and our sessions can help people to learn about what lifts their mood, support people in periods of anxiety, offer connection in times of loneliness and provide strategies for dealing with life when it becomes tough. Sessions are recovery focused – we don’t provide therapy or clinical interventions, but believe that attending a Recovery College can help people to look after their mental health, hopefully reducing the need for clinical intervention by offering proactive activities which work to keep people well.
We focus on learning, building people’s skills and knowledge and activities that promote physical and mental wellbeing. Some activities are based around getting physically fit and others allow people to connect with the things they enjoy doing Our sessions are run by a wide range of people, including those with experience of mental health conditions and professionals who work with them, some are run by individuals working in the community and some are offered by volunteers who want to share their passion for a hobby or interest with others.
The College is based on the principles of hope, control and personal responsibility. We believe that it is possible to enjoy a meaningful life, despite having a mental or physical illness or disability.
What do we mean by Recovery?
Recovery means different things for different people. In this case, it does not refer to the process of complete recovery from a mental or physical health condition. We believe it is possible to ‘recover’ a life worth living and regaining those things that may have been lost due to mental or physical illness or disability. This would include social confidence, a sense of purpose, meaning and life opportunities through to education and employment.
Where is the college?
We don’t have a physical location, but we take sessions across the county into local communities. Some of the sessions can be accessed online. We currently have four branches of the college:
- North Northumberland
- West Northumberland
- Blyth, Cramlington and Seaton Valley
- Wansbeck and Central
Each branch is run by a development group, made up of a collaborative of students and supporters, who use their local knowledge to put on a programme of learning and activities for people living in that area.
We host a range of physical and virtual events across Northumberland