DISCOVER YOUR LIFE-CHANGING COURSE AT THE MERSEY CARE RECOVERY COLLEGE

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1 DISCOVER YOUR LIFE-CHANGING COURSE AT THE MERSEY CARE RECOVERY COLLEGE Your Future, Your Way

2 AT THE RECOVERY COLLEGE, EVERYTHING IS GEARED AROUND HELPING YOU ENJOY A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE A GREATER ABILITY TO MANAGE YOUR OWN LIFE, STRONGER SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS, A GREATER SENSE OF PURPOSE, THE SKILLS YOU NEED FOR LIVING AND WORKING, IMPROVED CHANCES IN EDUCATION, BETTER EMPLOYMENT RATES, AND A SUITABLE AND STABLE PLACE TO LIVE. The Mersey Care Recovery College Delivering real hope, control and opportunities. 2

3 WELCOME TO THE MERSEY CARE RECOVERY COLLEGE. The Mersey Care Recovery College is a college like no other, delivering a wide range of free courses and learning programmes for those who use mental health services, care for someone who does, or who work in services. Everything is designed around you, from course content to the learning environment. To assist your recovery journey, improve your wellbeing, and give you control over your life and symptoms. Helping you recognise, develop and make the most of your talents so you achieve your goals and ambitions. Giving you opportunities to build a rewarding and meaningful life beyond illness. Delivered in a relaxed environment by people with lived and professional experience to achieve an enhanced learning experience. That s the Recovery College. Helping you become all you want to be and do all you want to do. Your Future, Your Way. RECOVERY COLLEGE YOUR FUTURE YOUR WAY 3

4 4 THE RECOVERY COLLEGE CAN HELP YOU FIND YOUR VOICE AGAIN

5 WHAT DO WE MEAN BY 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. Recovery-identifying, using and developing your skills and talents to become all you want to be and do all you want to do! WHAT IS THE MERSEY CARE RECOVERY COLLEGE? The Mersey Care Recovery College is not a college in the traditional sense of the word. It s a place designed to provide you with a range of courses to help you to recognise, develop and make the most of your skills and achieve what you want in your life. Sharing knowledge in an enjoyable, friendly and informal environment to enhance a person s learning and understanding. WHO CAN ENROL? The Mersey Care Recovery College offers a range of courses for ANYONE whose lives are touched by a mental health condition, an addiction or learning disability. So whether you use services, care for someone who does, or you work in services, we have a choice of courses that are right for you. WHAT S SO DIFFERENT ABOUT OUR APPROACH? The Mersey Care Recovery College aims to break down perceived barriers of them and us. Everyone who attends a course at the Mersey Care Recovery College is classed as a student and not a service user or a professional. And as such you will have equality with all other students regardless of background. A discrimination-free environment designed to encourage everyone to learn together and from each other. At the heart of the Mersey Care Recovery College and all of our courses and learning programmes is co-production, where we harness the knowledge and expertise of professional experts PLUS individuals with lived experience of a mental health condition, addiction or learning disability to help us to both design AND deliver the courses. The power of this truly collaborative approach enhances the learning experience and improves outcomes for all. When the people attending courses also include people with a professional and lived experience the learning is further enhanced as trainers and students learn from each other. WHAT KIND OF COURSES DO WE OFFER? You ll find a complete list and timetable of our latest courses at the back of this booklet. Further details can be found on our website: merseycare.nhs.uk/about-us/our-recovery-programme/ mersey-care-recovery-college Remember, at the Mersey Care Recovery College we listen to our students and our curriculum is designed by their suggestions which means we regularly update our curriculum. Recovery is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life even within the limitations caused by illness. A deeply personal, unique process of changing one s attitudes, values, feelings, goals, skills and roles. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness. Dr William Anthony

6 WHAT HELP CAN I EXPECT ON MY PERSONAL RECOVERY JOURNEY? When you enrol you will be contacted by a member of the Mersey Care Recovery College team and offered the opportunity to complete an informal Individual Experience Plan (IEP). This is a plan intended to identify your personal learning aims and how the college can help you achieve your goals and aspirations on your recovery journey. There are multiple ways you can complete your IEP. You can do it by phone, one-to-one with a personal Peer Trainer or in a small group with other learners. Whatever suits you. During your IEP you will have an opportunity to discuss any support needs you may have, from a learning perspective or relating to any personal challenges you may have, such as social anxiety, dyslexia, sight or hearing impairment and others. Whatever challenges you may have, we can support you. Just let us know and together we ll find a solution that best suits your needs. WHERE CAN I FIND THE MERSEY CARE RECOVERY COLLEGE? The Mersey Care Recovery College aims to reduce stigma of mental health in communities and as such delivers its courses in various community venues across Merseyside. The Mersey Care Recovery College has also been adapted to meet the needs of people in inpatient settings including secure care. HOW MUCH DO COURSES COST? Courses are provided FREE of charge to eligible students. HOW DO I ENROL? We try to make enrolment as easy as possible. Once you have decided what course or courses you would like to take then you can either: Call us on Complete an enrolment form online: merseycare.nhs.uk/about-us/our-recoveryprogramme/mersey-care-recovery-college us at Write to us at: Mersey Care Recovery College Rathbone Learning Suite Rathbone Hospital Mill Lane Wavertree Liverpool L13 4AW CAN I STILL ATTEND THE COLLEGE IF I DIDN T HAVE A PARTICULARLY GOOD EXPERIENCE AT SCHOOL? We know it can be a daunting experience going back into a learning environment, especially if you have had a negative education experience in the past or you have been out of education for a long time. Remember there is NO requirement to be at any particular academic level. All we ask is that that you participate, complete and learn from the course. We are also fully aware that people learn in different ways and our courses are designed taking this into account. ANY QUESTIONS? Our friendly team are available to answer any questions you may have on the phone from 9.30am to 4.30pm. Please don t hesitate to call us or send an . We ll do everything we can to make you feel at ease about making a positive step in your recovery. NOT YET READY TO COMMIT? Still not sure whether the Mersey Care Recovery College is right for you? We are here for you when you are ready. Remember that we run regular open days and open evenings where you are free to have a look around the college, meet some of the staff and students and get your own feel for the place. You don t have to do this alone; you are welcome to bring someone along to support you. You can also contact the College Administrator to organise an informal visit and we will do our best to fit an appointment in around you. 6

7 THE RECOVERY COLLEGE HAS HELPED ME LIVE WITH MYSELF 7

8 COURSE GROUP NAME THE RECOVERY COLLEGE GIVES YOU A CHANCE TO REDISCOVER YOUR POTENTIAL Morgan, Mersey Care Recovery College student 8

9 MORGAN S RECOVERY STORY Anxiety attacks had started happening and I started self medicating to get through. I got another job with a good company but I messed that one up. By that time I was dependent on alcohol. I didn t want to go down the rehab route again. Because I felt it was tackling the symptoms and not the cause. So I looked at options that would help tackle the cause my mental health problem. So I got in touch with the Mersey Care Recovery College. I loved it straight away. And the whole thing has given me back so much more of the confidence that I d completely lost. Its tapped me back into what I used in my commercial/professional life. People valuing my opinions and what I think. I ve taken an anxiety management course. One on depression. A one-day course on mental health awareness plus two book reading club type things. I love reading, always have done. The group sessions I have taken part in at the Mersey Care Recovery College are very much group based. There s a facilitator there to make sure you re going in the right direction and not going off on tangents. The ethos is very much getting people to learn from each other and discuss things. I really like that. I had zero self-confidence. As happens to so many people who have mental health or addiction problems. It goes with the territory. But it s helped or is helping hugely with that. The Mersey Care Recovery College is somewhere where you can find your own voice again and this has given me the opportunity to reflect about what I actually want, what will make me happy, what I m capable of doing. There is such a broad range of courses that can offer you things that are incredibly practical or can take you a bit outside of yourself. It just gives you the opportunity to build on your strengths or try new things. 9

10 YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED WHEN IS THE RECOVERY COLLEGE OPEN? Course dates vary so please contact us to find out when your chosen course begins or speak to a member of staff. The opening hours will be Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4.30pm. As well as daytime courses we may run some evening courses. WILL I NEED TO SHARE ANY PERSONAL INFORMATION ON THE COURSE? Our course descriptions highlight the courses that involve the sharing of personal information to enhance learning. However you can rest assured that we place great importance on maintaining student s confidentiality. The only time that confidential information may be shared is if we feel that your safety or another person s safety is at risk. HOW MANY STUDENTS WILL BE ON A COURSE WITH ME? This varies depending on the course. The average is around 10 to12 per course. Courses that involve personal sharing having eight. Some of the shorter taster courses or workshops may have a maximum of 25. Our aim is to keep the courses small and friendly. DO I NEED TO BE REFERRED BY THE SERVICE OR A TEAM? There is no need for a referral. The Mersey Care Recovery College is designed for anyone with lived and professional experience of mental health, addiction and learning disability services and we operate in the same way as any adult learning centre would. Your local team or service may recommend the Mersey Care Recovery College to you and support you with enrolment onto a course but they cannot refer. WILL THE SERVICE KNOW I M ATTENDING A COURSE? The service will only know if you choose to tell them. Whilst you are at the Mersey Care Recovery College you will be a student and not a service user there is no need for us to inform them. However for some, you may benefit from working in partnership with the person who supports you from the service as they may be able to support you to attend and put your learning into practice. For courses held within our secure settings, the service will know you are attending. We will work collaboratively with students and the team to enable and support attendance and learning. I WORK FOR THE TRUST AND I AM INTERESTED IN A COURSE. CAN I ENROL? Yes! If you want to learn more to help you in your practice or to manage your own personal recovery and wellbeing you can enrol. You will however need your line manager s support to attend a course as with any application for study leave. I M CARING FOR SOMEONE WHO USES SERVICES. CAN I ENROL ON A COURSE? Yes you can. Our courses are designed for family, friends and carers as well as people who use our services. We believe that bringing all these different perspectives together creates the richest learning experience for everyone. 10

11 I M CONCERNED THAT I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS THE COLLEGE DUE TO MY DISABILITY. We are committed to working with all students to ensure an accessible and inclusive learning environment for all. Please let us know in advance of attending your course if you have any particular adjustments to support your learning ad we will do our best to accommodate them. HOW DO I FIND OUT FURTHER INFORMATION OR CHECK AVAILABILITY ON A COURSE? We are always happy to talk to you and answer any questions you may have. Phone the enrolment office on or I M WORRIED I MAY NOT BE ABLE TO FINISH THE COURSE. WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON T FINISH? In order to be considered as having completed a course we will expect you to have attended all the sessions. However, we understand that there are special circumstances or genuine reasons why you may find it difficult to attend sessions that you may have committed to. Our tutors will talk through with you any difficulties you may be having in attending. We cannot guarantee to continue to offer places on courses to people who repeatedly fail to attend any or all of the sessions. WHAT NEXT? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I HAVE FINISHED A COURSE? At the Mersey Care Recovery College we are aware that your time with us may only be a small part of your journey and we want to continue to work with you to support your learning in order that you reach your goals and achieve your ambitions. With this in mind our tutors try to keep their finger on the pulse of opportunities that lie beyond the Recovery College both within Mersey Care and our local communities. So if you find yourself saying What should I do next?, why don t you arrange an informal chat with a college facilitator to discuss your options or simply ask for a list of options available to you. ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ME TO BE MORE DIRECTLY INVOLVED WITH THE MERSEY CARE RECOVERY COLLEGE? Yes. In the spirit of co-production and co-delivery we welcome the contributions of anyone with lived experience, large or small. So if you d like to propose a course, make a donation, volunteer your free time or think you could provide a valuable role as a tutor, don t hesitate to get in touch. THINK WE CAN DO EVEN BETTER? LET US KNOW At the Mersey Care Recovery College we are always learning. Always striving to improve and grow, and appreciate feedback from you, the learner. If you think our courses can be improved then please let us know. We are always open to your opinion, and with your help we aim to make Mersey Care Recovery College the best in the UK. 11

12 BEFORE THE RECOVERY COLLEGE, I HAD VAST, VAST SELF-HATRED I FELT I WAS A BURDEN TO EVERYBODY THAT I KNEW. TOO SCARED TO LIVE A LIFE. TOO SCARED TO COMMIT SUICIDE. A VERY UNPLEASANT PLACE TO BE. Phil, Mersey Care Recovery College student 12

13 PHIL S RECOVERY STORY I have a history of substance abuse and addiction, which were my coping mechanisms of not being able to deal with the amount of stress I had in my life. I took huge quantities of cocaine and alcohol, hoping that nobody would realise that I was afraid doing the job I was doing. The consequences of my lifestyle choice? A trip to a mental institution. I had an inability to cope with life, what life was throwing at me. I had vast, vast self-hatred. Feeling I was a burden to everybody that I knew. Too scared to live a life. Too scared to commit suicide. A very unpleasant place to be. I got sick of being sick. And nobody else was going to be able to fix me. So when an opportunity like the Mersey Care Recovery College came up, I was fully aware that I had to engage with the process. To have a look at myself. To try and find out what I needed to change and to take steps to do that to have some quality of life. TODAY? I FEEL LIKE I M MOVING INSTEAD OF SINKING Today? I m in a far better place. I don t drink or do drugs any more. I m not only able to look after myself a little bit more but to look after my mum who has dementia. I have still got a lot of issues but I feel I m moving in the right direction. I feel like I m moving instead of sinking. And that movement is really important for me, I feel like I m making some sort of progress instead of wallowing. Instead of drowning. I ve been looking at confidence building. Trying to be a bit more assertive. Given my circumstances with my mum, I have some issues putting across where I m at and what I need from other family members. So I can get the help that I need and some time for myself. So I don t move backwards and get really, really ill again. And being useless, useless for my mum. I am able to take a step back and look at myself in a slightly better light than I ve been able to. I ve always been very harsh, very negative with myself. I am learning how to be a bit more positive and kind. I would probably tell myself that it s a fantastic opportunity to become closer to the person I ve always wanted to be. That I would be able to see I m not an abject failure. Not a monster. That I do have value and worth. I ve been told there are no guarantees and I have to put work in. It stands to reason, no one else, nothing else can fix me. I can be helped and I can be guided. But I have a lot of effort to put in. The people are there to support me pointing out qualities I never realise I had. Without that kind of support and help I don t know where I d be. At the moment I see the potential for long term investment from me in the Recovery College. It s actually something I d like to be more involved in. Which I didn t think I d ever say about it when this started it wasn t on my mind. But it is now. 13

14 HAYLEY S RECOVERY STORY It s coming up to a year now that I ve been coming to the Mersey Care Recovery College. I have what s called an Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. It means you are a little bit more sensitive with your emotions. Certain emotions come out from certain situations that are a little bit harder to understand. I feel like I have to have routine. I have to have things in my head how things are going to be. So if something changes, a different emotion that I wasn t expecting comes to me and I don t know how to act and it throws me. It gets me a little bit confused and upset. Or it can overcompensate where you rely on others too much. At the same time you feel like you re a burden. You pre-empt things what people feel about you. When you don t know what people are thinking at all. Thanks to Mersey Care I have the diagnosis. Now I m on the waiting list to get some talking therapy treatment. I am on the right medication. I get the right support that I need. And I m learning how to react with my emotions and understand what they mean. I feel I m on an Up now. I feel like I ve found what the problem is and where I need to go. And I m happy. At the Mersey Care Recovery College I attend the Journeys through Film course where we pick a film to watch that highlights mental health stigma and understanding. How it affects people s day-to-day life who suffers from it. We watch the film and then discuss it together. Can we relate to it? It s helped me massively. It s given me the confidence to go and ask for the help I need. To speak to family and friends and tell them that I m suffering from mental health issues. And what I need from them. Mersey Care Recovery College has also helped me get back into full time work because I was off for a long period of time. It s just given me so much confidence. To not be ashamed of suffering from mental health issue. I say there s something for everybody. There s such a wide variety of courses. I d say just take the time to look at what s in the brochure, there s going to be something there for you. And don t be afraid to go to the sessions. You don t have to feel ashamed, or embarrassed or scared. Because once you re there you re among people who have shared in your story. You re all together. I m feeling good. I feel like I know where I m going now and I know where to move forward and I know I ve got the support I need. It s just a brilliant service. It s not like staff and service user. You get to know them and they join in the sessions with you and you get to build a good relationship with them. I m always telling people about the Mersey Care Recovery College. It s definitely a good thing. And I hope it s going to be around for a long while to come. 14

15 COURSE GROUP NAME THE CONFIDENCE THE RECOVERY COLLEGE HAS GIVEN ME HAS HELPED ME BACK INTO FULL TIME WORK Hayley, Mersey Care Recovery College student 15

16 THE MERSEY CARE RECOVERY COLLEGE Your Future, Your Way PHONE: WEB: merseycare.nhs.uk/about-us/our-recovery-programme/mersey-care-recovery-college

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