Innovation Recovery Project
The Innovation Recovery project is one of four cross border projects funded through the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme and managed by the CAWT health and social care Partnership. The Innovation Recovery project aims to empower and enable people to take greater control over their own mental and emotional wellbeing by providing education as a route to recovery. The project is producing a diverse range of educational programmes in response to the needs of people who are experiencing mental health challenges. These programmes are being delivered by Recovery Colleges established by the project.
The purpose of a Recovery College is to support people’s recovery from mental health difficulties through learning and education that is co-produced by people with lived experience and people with professional expertise. Three cross border Recovery Colleges have been established as part of the Innovation Recovery project:
· Area 1 West: Derry, Letterkenny, Strabane and West Donegal
· Area 2 South: Cavan, Monaghan, Sligo, Leitrim and Fermanagh
· Area 3 East: Belfast, Armagh, Newry, Dundalk.
The Recovery Colleges are delivering courses both in classroom settings and also virtually/on-line. The aim of the courses is to help participants tap into their own personal resilience and resourcefulness. Over the past two years, some of the most popular courses have included: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep, the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), Understanding Depression, Mindfulness, and Learning to Like Yourself.
The project has established strong engagement mechanisms with the local communities served and strives to offer courses and programmes which reflect the needs of people with mental health difficulties, and also the wider needs of communities to ensure more awareness of the importance of good mental health and early intervention and prevention.
To date the project has provided courses to 2,500 plus individuals.
Recovery College Peer Educators
A Recovery College Peer Educator is a person who has lived experience of mental health issues and is committed to helping others by sharing their journey of recovery. As an ‘expert by lived experience’ the Peer Educator assist with the co-design, co-facilitation and co-delivery of a range of recovery focused courses and works alongside the students to create their individual learning plans as part of their recovery journey and provide them with ongoing learning support. Working as part of a team, the Peer Educator supports the development and delivery of mental health recovery education. The Peer Educator builds relationships with partner organisations and individuals in the development and delivery of recovery college education and community initiatives.