Does a Recovery College Need To Be Run By The NHS?

About Bridge, Holistic Recovery

There’s no doubt that the need for robust mental health services is greater than ever, putting even more pressure on our overstretched NHS.  

Currently, there are around 70 NHS-run Recovery Colleges in the UK, usually situated in a hospital setting. Typically, mental health services such are this are solely dependent on the NHS.  

NHS Recovery Colleges add unnecessary pressure to an already understaffed mental health service as they are run mainly by NHS staff and clinicians. This makes them more expensive to run, increases costs for the taxpayer and puts added pressure onto precious NHS resources.  

Students have already been through the clinical part of their journey and it’s now time for them to begin living beyond their diagnosis. Education is the next step to help guide them through their recovery and reintegrate them into society.  A community-centred college, such as ours is a wonderful alternative.  

Bridge Support is the solution 

The Recovery College Greenwich (RCG) is one of a very small number of recovery colleges in Britain that are outside of the NHS. We have 33 years of experience and a proven track record of delivering mental health and wellbeing services in our community. We strongly believe that a community is able to better take care of the mental health of its residents. Of course, we still maintain a close relationship with the NHS. 

We use a proven pathway to support people with long term mental ill-health, to progress towards living a more fulfilling role within our community. The goal is to help our students along a path that leads to the same freedom, opportunities and everyday pleasures that most take for granted. We help our students rediscover their identities. 

Why chose the Recovery College Greenwich 

The college sits in the heart of the community it serves and is staffed by adult education specialists who have extensive experience working with people with multiple barriers to learning. There are no clinicians, unlike almost every other recovery college in the UK. We don’t require a diagnosis from the student and the time spent here can be from a few weeks to a few years, as long as the student needs to facilitate their recovery.  

Our students acquire the personal, social, academic, and practical life skills they need to live a full and meaningful life while developing the emotional resilience to manage the ups and downs of life. Re-establishing an identity beyond diagnosis and reconnecting to the community is a big part of the recovery journey 

We offer a large selection of courses and workshops to support personal recovery. Our courses are designed to facilitate individual progress by blending the best of adult learning practice with modern personal recovery theory.  

Our unique approach avoids extending the clinical experience of our students, instead taking an educational approach to personal recovery. 

What our students are saying… 

“I feel alive again instead of just existing” 

“I feel a sense of purpose and belonging…and I’m slowly starting to trust others again” 

“I’m starting to feel hope for the future, to grow” 

Our results speak for themselves 

  • Only 8% of students have attended A&E since starting at the college. 
  • Over 3000 places in our courses and workshops have been attended by in the past five years. 
  • 100% of students on long term sickness leave have returned to work on leaving the college.  
  • 90% of students report they can manage their mental health better with the skills they have learned at the Recovery College 
  • 100% of students feel a sense of connectedness due to reduced social isolation. 
  • 96% of students report having more hope and optimism for their future  
  • 47% of students have gone on to further education or training, employment or volunteer work. 

The Recovery College is a catalyst for positive change and an opportunity for students to shake off the persona of ‘patient’ and rediscover their identity beyond their illness. Contact us for further information.  

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  • How you can work with us

    As well as the normal tendering process, you can commission our services in the following ways:

    • Use our contact form
    • Pick up the phone to speak to us on 020 8298 9677
    • Email us to discuss spot contracting OR delivery of a bespoke service that meets your need