South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s Recovery College is proud to have won the ‘Education for Innovation – working in different ways’ award, as part of the 2021 King’s Health Partners Education Authority Awards.
The awards have recognised excellence and innovation in healthcare across London since 2010. The judging panel commended the Recovery College for its work supporting health and social care workers to develop skills to improve mental health and wellbeing in patients with long-term illnesses.
The college provides workshops and courses on a variety of mental wellbeing topics across the London boroughs of Lewisham, Lambeth, Croydon and Southwark. It shares techniques for understanding and coping with any concerns, and for moving towards improved mental health. Teaching sessions are planned and co-led by experts in the field with peer educators who have personally experienced mental health challenges.
The college responded swiftly during the pandemic, moving courses and workshops online by April 2020. This innovation has enabled student numbers to increase from 500 students each term to 1,372. Remote access has opened the service to more people – including more than 250 in the UK outside London, and also abroad. Access criteria was broadened from those who had already received mental health support to anyone who felt in need. Online support on 46 pandemic-related topics is now available alongside 26 courses.
David Bradley, Chief Executive, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said:
“I am immensely proud to see the significant work of the Recovery College team recognised as an important innovation, especially during the pandemic. Merging the medical knowledge of professionals with the personal experience of those who have lived with mental health challenges creates a unique and all-encompassing approach to supporting and improving mental well-being. It was one of the earliest services in the UK to pioneer this approach since 2013. This award highlights its successful outcomes.”
Recovery College Manager Kirsty Giles, said:
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