The Honourable Alanna Clohesy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier for the Western Australian State Government will visit Greater Manchester Mental Health’s Recovery Academy to learn more about how it helps people with lived experience of mental health and substance misuse issues.
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH) has hosted a Recovery Academy since 2013, based on research which showed that learning opportunities helped to manage or promote recovery, health and wellbeing in those living with mental health or substance misuse issues.
In just four years, the GMMH Recovery Academy has produced ten prospectuses, offers over 60 courses and has nearly 4,800 students enrolled. Nearly half of these are service users and carers. Other students are families or professionals, keen to learn more about certain mental health conditions so they can support others, and look after their own wellbeing too.
Courses range from learning more about living with a condition, learning about different therapies used to help service users, as well as courses in spirituality and creativity. Other courses help with taking back control and very practical subjects such as accredited courses in IT and Maths, to support further training and employment prospects. There are also fully accredited British Sign Languages courses available too.
Ms Clohesy is visiting the UK to meet with experts in recovery colleges like the GMMH Academy to learn more about how they can assist people in recovery and work to de-stigmatise mental illness. She has specifically chosen to visit GMMH’s Recovery Academy due its long-established commitment to co-design and co-delivery, the way it includes mental illness and alcohol and other drug issues and its focus on education.
Ms Clohesy said, “We want to co-design a Recovery College that meets the unique needs of people in Western Australia, that draws on the experience of the best there is in the field.”
Claire Watson, Recovery Academy Lead at GMMH said, “We are delighted to welcome Ms Clohesy to our Recovery Academy. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved here and it is so fulfilling to see our students join our courses and go on to do great things which support and maintain their recovery, or helps them help someone else. So many of our students have gone on to become course tutors within the Academy. If spending time with us can help Ms Clohesy and her team have similar success in Western Australia, we would be thrilled.”
Ms Clohesy’s role is to assist the Minister for Health and Mental Health with the mental health portfolio, including policy around alcohol and other drugs. The State Government has started work on developing a Recovery College for people with co-recurring mental health and substance misuse issues. It will be the first of its kind in Western Australia and one of only a few across the whole country. Western Australia has a population of approximately 2.5million people, spread over a land-mass 10.5 times greater than the UK.