Recovery College influences upon service users: a Recovery Academy exploration of employment and service use
The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
Article publication date: 22 March 2019
Issue publication date: 26 April 2019
The purpose of this paper is to provide an exploration of Recovery Academy influences upon employment and service use amongst individuals with lived experience of mental health difficulties.
The study utilised a questionnaire design over a nine-month period. Participants’ baseline and follow-up data were analysed to explore the influence of course attendance upon employment and service use.
At follow-up, there was a significant association between participants attending Recovery Academy courses and paid or self-employment (p<0.05). However, there were also no significant differences in service use over time between those who attended courses and those who did not attend any courses.
Further research is required to explore the cost-effectiveness of the Recovery Academy. As participants were all enroled onto the Recovery Academy findings may not be generalisable to other Recovery Colleges. There is a need for more robust research such as a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate multiple Recovery Colleges and establish definitive conclusions as to their economic implications.
There may be value in the Recovery Academy as a gateway to employment, speaking to the transformative powers of Recovery Colleges. The Recovery Academy may serve as a vehicle to support service users to obtain paid or self-employment, and thus promote community reintegration.
This paper offers an important contribution to the Recovery College literature, which remains limited in evaluative evidence, particularly regarding associated economic factors, such as employment and service use.
The authors would like to thank previous service user students and the Psychosis Research Unit’s Service User Reference Group (SURG) for providing their expertise during research conception and for their guidance throughout the study. The authors also thank course administrators at the Recovery Academy for raising awareness of the research study to support study recruitment. The authors gratefully acknowledge advice and contributions received from Professor Richard Emsley which supported data analysis. The current study was internally funded utilising existing resources at the Psychosis Research Unit within GMMH. No declarations of interest are reported by the authors of this paper.
Sutton, R., Lawrence, K., Zabel, E. and French, P. (2019), "Recovery College influences upon service users: a Recovery Academy exploration of employment and service use", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 141-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-06-2018-0038
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