Mayo Recovery College, the first college of its kind in Ireland, will open its doors to the people of Mayo and beyond this autumn.
The College is holding an open evening from 7–9 pm on Wednesday, 28 August in the Large Lecture Theatre, GMIT, Castlebar to discuss the courses, seminars and workshops that will be delivered during the year.
A panel of local professionals, service users, and family members will be on hand to answer questions and share information about this unique initiative in Mayo.
Everyone is welcome to attend and the open evening will offer people the opportunity to learn more about this innovative new concept to highlighting and addressing mental health issues.
The primary goal of Ireland’s first Recovery College is to create a culture of recovery, and to empower people with mental health difficulties, families, friends and the broader community to improve quality of life and to promote community involvement through the provision of unbiased, co-produced and co-delivered learning and dialogue.
The college aims to expand the Mental Health Services towards the building of a greater quality of life for service users by committing to give equal attention to the personal or lived experience of people with mental health difficulties, their family members/friends, and professional expertise; and empowering the community to accommodate human distress and ensure full citizenship for all service users.
In essence, the Recovery College will recogise the equal importance of both professional expertise and lived experience.
Mayo Recovery College uses a collaborative approach, based on sound adult education principles as a key tool to influence and empower personal recovery.
The intention is to place education at the service of recovery. Originating in the United States, this concept has been embraced in the United Kingdom, where there are now seven Recovery Colleges.
The courses, seminars, and events are designed to put people back in control of their life, helping each person to identify goals and ambitions whilst giving the confidence, skills and support to access opportunities.
The courses are open to all adults, including people with mental health challenges, families and friends, professionals and the community.
Clem McLoughlin, HSE Mental Health Services, Mayo comments: “Fundamentally, the college reflects the needs of the community and is located in the heart of the Mayo HSE Mental Health Services. The college gives equal weight and significance to the worth and value of professional expertise and lived experience.
“The college curriculum and prospectus is supervised by a working group, including people with lived experience of mental health difficulties, professionals and family members, and draws on the expertise of other interested parties from the voluntary and statutory sector. The MRC explores different dimensions of what constitutes‘distress’ and what ‘recovery’ can mean. Simply put, the college provides courses, workshops, seminars and group work on topics and themes that deal with RECOVERY!”
William Anthony, a leading thinker on recovery observes: “A person with mental illness can recover even though the illness is not ‘cured’. Recovery is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life even with the limitation caused by illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness.”
Mayo Recovery College is a partnership project between the HSE and RehabCare and is supported by GENIO; other parties include the GMIT and The Learning Curve Institute.