New service for mental health

A NEW service designed to help those suffering from mental health problems in 1066 Country is holding an open day next Thursday (June 6).

Hastings and Rother Recovery College, a partnership and venture led by Activ8 and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (Sussex Partnership), is running the event from 1.30pm to 6pm at Cavendish House in Breeds Place.

It has been set up to provide mental health, wellbeing and recovery focused education for people with mental health challenges, their friends and families, and staff.

All courses are co-produced and co-facilitated by peer trainers with personal experience of mental health problems alongside trainers with professional training.

People choose what courses to take from a prospectus and receive a certificate on completion.

The prospectus will be launched at the open day and potential students will be able to meet the tutors and enrol on a range of courses.

Courses will run during the pilot from June until October. They range from half-day introductions on understanding medication to longer courses on mindfulness, happiness, improving one’s sleep and getting back to work.

Diana Byrne, senior peer trainer at Hastings and Rother Recovery College and a service user governor at Sussex Partnership, said: “This puts a person’s recovery back in the service user’s control. Recovery College can offer a new strand to what is available on mental health to assist people with hope, choice and learning opportunities to develop self-help and self-management skills and explore vocational and personal development.”

Karen Swain, Hastings and Rother Recovery College peer trainer and peer support worker, said: “I’m happy to be working with some truly inspiring people who each have their own story of recovery to tell and many skills to offer. It’s humbling and emotional for me to be able to use my experiences of anxiety and a recovery from crisis and severe depression in such a positive and impactful way.”

Sara Meddings, psychology and psychological therapies lead for recovery and wellbeing at Sussex Partnership, said: “Recovery colleges are an innovative educational approach to supporting people to understand, manage and recover from mental health challenges by bringing together the expertise of peer trainers with personal experience and people whose expertise is from professional training.”