About the Academy

The Trust Recovery Collaborative was formed in 2010 with a remit to support the ongoing transformation of our mental health and substance misuse services from services which focused on reducing people’s symptoms, to those which focus on rebuilding lives. The Collaborative identified two main work streams. The first was in relation to transforming traditional assessment processes which focused entirely on people’s problems. The introduction of the Recovery Star with a focus on people’s strengths and goals became a priority, and the work continues to integrate this in to existing CPA processes.

The second work stream was to focus on education and the development of our own Recovery Academy. One of the key outcomes from the DoH 2011 Mental Health Strategy - No Health Without Mental Health - is to enable people to gain a greater ability to manage their own lives. The Centre for Mental Health and NHS Confederation Mental Health Network (June 2012) argue that a Recovery College/Academy is central to driving recovery focused organisational change because it uses an educational paradigm to complement traditional treatment approaches.

Therefore, the overarching aim of GMMH’s Academy is to provide everyone - service users, families and carers as well as professionals with the learning opportunities they need to be able to manage/promote recovery, health & wellbeing.

Core Principles of the Academy

1) There will be co-production at every level and every stage. GMMH is committed to the following:

  • Equal consultation with people with lived experience (including service users, families and carers) and professionals in planning and developing the Academy and its prospectuses.
  • Actively engaging with people with lived experience and professionals in the development, delivery, and evaluation of education programmes.
  • Supporting tutors to gain the confidence and skills they need to be able to truly co-facilitate learning events.
  • The setting up of a Trainer Bank for people with lived experience to join so that they receive fair pay for their contribution to the development, delivery, and evaluation of education programmes.
  • Running a Trainer Bank for people with lived experience to join so that they receive fair pay for their contribution to the development, delivery, and evaluation of education programmes.

2) Providing state of the art, purpose built educational training facility which houses the Academy on the Prestwich site. This building also accommodates our existing Knowledge and Library services. Whilst this building provides the Academy with a base, and excellent resources to support the delivery of education programmes, we are certain that the Academy will continue to provide satellite services in full recognition of the geographical spread of our services.

3) The Academy will operate on college principles. Students (from whatever background) will be able to select courses from a prospectus. There is a Student Charter describing what a person can expect to gain, and what the Academy expects from them in terms of attendance and behaviour.

4) The Academy is for everyone. Professionals, service users, families and carers can be both tutors and students. The idea is to learn from one another and recognise with equal importance both professional expertise and lived experience.

5) Individuals will be able to access one to one support as well as group learning in order to define and fulfil their hopes and aspirations. We will make links with local colleges, education and employment initiatives, and employers to ensure students can access further opportunities and fulfil their long-term ambitions.

6) The Academy is not a substitute for treatment. It will complement treatment/therapy by helping people to understand their problems and learn how to manage these better in order to pursue their aspirations.

7) The Academy is not a substitute for mainstream colleges. It will promote participation and citizenship, and provide routes to further education, training and/or employment.

8) The Academy will reflect recovery principles in all aspects of its culture and operation. The physical environment and language used will portray messages of hope, empowerment, possibility, and aspirations. Success will be celebrated with all those involved.