Exploring the impact of the recovery academy: a qualitative study of Recovery College experiences

Elisabeth Zabel (Psychosis Research Unit, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Prestwich, UK)
Grace Donegan (Psychosis Research Unit, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Prestwich, UK)
Kate Lawrence (Psychosis Research Unit, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Prestwich, UK)
Paul French (Psychosis Research Unit, Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Prestwich, UK and Institute of Psychology, Health and Society, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Publication date: 11 July 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Recovery Colleges strive to assist individuals in their journey of recovery and help organisations to become more recovery focused. The evidence base surrounding Recovery Colleges is still in its infancy and further research is required to investigate their effectiveness. The purpose of this paper is to explore the subjective experience of people involved with a Recovery College: “The Recovery Academy” based in Greater Manchester.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study using data collected from four focus groups of Recovery Academy students who have either lived experience of mental health problems, are health professionals or are family members or carers. The data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

Four main themes emerged from discussing experiences of the Recovery Academy and its courses: ethos of the Recovery Academy; personal and organisational impact; value of co-production; and barriers to engagement and impact. The Recovery Academy can have a positive impact on the lives of students who attend the courses and offer benefits to the organisation in which it is run.

Originality/value

Recovery Colleges are gaining large interest nationally. However, to date there is a paucity of research on Recovery Colleges. This is the first paper to be presented for publication specifically on the Recovery Academy. The findings of this study suggest Recovery Colleges have the potential to positively impact students and facilitate recovery oriented organisational change. The findings can add valuable data to the emerging Recovery College evidence base.

Keywords

Citation

Zabel, E., Donegan, G., Lawrence, K. and French, P. (2016), "Exploring the impact of the recovery academy: a qualitative study of Recovery College experiences", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 162-171. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-12-2015-0052

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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