New mental health course supports wellbeing and recovery
A mental health course for people in recovery from mental illness, their families, friends and carers, and health and social care staff has been organised at Dungannon Library.
The course is the first official ‘Recovery College’ trial programme to take place in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust area.
Ann Butler, Senior Nurse Practitioner in Mental Health at the Trust, says that the course aims to support people become experts in their own self care.
“In addition to helping people learn about recovery and manage their own mental health wellbeing, the course supports families, friends and carers understand mental health conditions. It is also beneficial to Trust staff to help people manage their conditions and support people in their recovery journey.
“By creating a safe but fun environment, people with a mental illness and those who support them can learn from one another. This course aims to help people develop skills achieve their goals through peer-to-peer support. We want to encourage people to have the confidence to access whatever resources and opportunities are available to them.”
One individual who uses mental health services said: “It was brilliant to have my voice hear. Everyone was very open and it was a great opportunity to learn about other people’s perspectives so that we can work together to achieve recovery.”
A carer who attended said: “It’s great to talk about recovery with staff. The really important thing was that we all think the same way.”
A staff members adds: “There were no judgements, lots of honesty and comments were very positive. This is a very welcome initiative.”
Bryce McMurray, the Southern Trust’s Assistant Director of Mental Health and Disability Services, endorses the introduction of the new course and the recovery approach in mental health services.
“Learning about mental health and how to manage the condition is important to the individual as well as their family, friends and carers and our staff. Bringing together the experience of individuals and the expertise of professional staff is very important. They can identify the training and education to help people with personal experience of mental illness live lives that are full of meaning and purpose in balance with any mental health challenges.”
“We hope the course in Dungannon will be the first of many that are co-produced and co-delivered by service users/carers and Trust staff with the guidance of the Recovery College for which we are grateful.”
Pictured at the Southern Trust’s first mental health recovery course are:(back row) Sandra Nugent, David Gillis, Mary Jbara, Joanne Fearon, Alan Leckey and Karl Hughes, (second row from back) Sinead Croucher, Patsy McGrail, Joanne McConville, Teresa McAleer, Marie McSwiggan and Susanna Loughran, (third row from back) Gerry Farrell, Niamh Young, Lyndsey Donnelly, Gail McCabe, Moya Murphy, Julie Wilson and Margaret Hyslop, (foreground) Mary Donnelly, Emma Dixon, Ann Butler and Arlene Wilson