Building resilience for mental health well-being and recovery seminar accepted for COT conference Harrogate 2016, 28-30 June 2016.

University lecturer, Josh Cameron, and MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-registration) graduate, Katie Pople have had their seminar proposal accepted for this summer’s COT conference. This is jointly authored with Sussex Recovery College Peer Trainers: Saff Brooker, Jo Harris and Paul Neale and by Sussex Partnership Trust Occupational Therapists: Mair Reardon and Anna Kemp.

The presentation will report on the design, implementation and evaluation of a co-created resilience building course for adults with mental health problems offered through the Sussex Recovery College (https://www.sussexrecoverycollege.org.uk/). This innovative service development is also one site of a wider multi-national UK research council funded project which aims to explore the potential for community university partnerships to make better and more resilient collective futures (http://www.imaginecommunity.org.uk/project1). The course comprised 8 weekly sessions developed by a partnership of peer trainers and occupational therapists (practitioners and an academic). Peer trainers are people with lived experience of mental health problems who have been recruited and trained as tutors by a Recovery College in England. Recovery Colleges are a growing initiative involving a partnership of the health service providers and service user organisations underpinned by a collaborative recovery orientated philosophy using an educative approach (Perkins et al 2012). People who attend Recovery College courses are seen as ‘learners’ not, for instance, as service users, clients or carers.

The course content drew on an adapted version of the (Hart et al 2007) (see www.boingboing.org.uk) and a range of other resilience tools and models alongside the personal, practice and research expertise of the facilitators. It aimed to increase learners’ resilience to respond on an individual and collective basis to the adversities they faced using internal and external resources and supports. This was achieved by combining lived experience expertise of mental health recovery and occupational approaches. The impact of the course was evaluated using qualitative data (eg interviews, course notes and products) and quantitative data (eg resilience scales). Findings suggest that Peer Trainers and Occupational Therapists (academics and practitioners in this educative practice model) have compatible knowledge, skills and experience that enable them to collaborate in Recovery College courses and effectively support resilience building.

Contacts:
Channine Clarke 01273 643771 c.clarke@brighton.ac.uk
Tracy Szekely 01273 643947 T.szekely@brighton.ac.uk
Sara Hadland 01273 643873 S.Hadland@brighton.ac.uk

Source: Occupational Therapy newsletter – Feb 2016
Channine Clarke, Principal Lecturer and Tracy Szekely, Senior Lecturer

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