Impacts of attending recovery colleges on NHS staff

Amorette Mae Perkins, Joseph Henry Ridler, Laura Hammond, Simone Davies, Corinna Hackmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of attending a Recovery College (RC) on NHS staff attitudes towards mental health and recovery, clinical and peer interactions, and personal wellbeing.

Qualitative and quantitative data were collected via online surveys from 94 participants. Thematic analysis and descriptive statistics were used.

Themes were identified for change in attitudes towards mental health and recovery: new meanings of recovery; challenging traditional views on recovery; hope for recovery; and increased parity. The majority felt that the RC positively influenced the way they supported others. Themes relating to this were: using or sharing taught skills; increased understanding and empathy; challenging non-recovery practices; and adopting recovery practices. Responses highlighted themes surrounding impacts on personal wellbeing: connectedness; safe place; self-care; and sense of competency and morale at work. Another category labelled “Design of RC” emerged with the themes co-learning, co-production and co-facilitation, and content.

Research limitations/implications
It is important to understand whether RCs are a useful resource for staff. This research suggests that RCs could help to reconcile Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change’s 10 Key Challenges and reduce staff burnout, which has implications for service provision.

This is one of the first papers to directly explore the value of RCs for staff attending as students, highlighting experiences of co-learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalMental Health and Social Inclusion
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2017

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