Students from the pioneering Sussex Recovery College gathered in Hastings recently to celebrate their graduation at a special ceremony.
The students, who come from across the East Sussex area, were joined by family, friends, Recovery College staff and local dignitaries at the Royal Victoria Hotel on Thursday 18 July to mark their achievements.
Fourteen students were presented with their graduation certificates by the Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Nigel Sinden, who also spoke about the importance of making mental wellbeing a priority.
There was also a short talk by Andrew Morse, Head of Curriculum at East Sussex College, offering advice to students who were interested in taking the next step into further education or employment.
A total of 35 students graduated from Sussex Recovery College’s East Sussex campus in the summer term. The college is a joint venture between Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and local voluntary organisations.
Courses are held at venues across East Sussex including Hastings, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Lewes and Uckfield. The college also operates in West Sussex and Brighton and Hove.
The college uses education and learning to support people experiencing mental health difficulties to become experts in self-care and recovery. The free courses are also open to their supporters and carers, and to healthcare professionals wanting to improve their understanding of mental health conditions.
All courses are run by mental health professionals in partnership with peer trainers – people who themselves have personal experience of mental health challenges. Subjects include suicide awareness, managing depression, and understanding anxiety, which is delivered in partnership with Sussex Wildlife Trust.
Comments from students included “It was a great day with a wonderful, supportive atmosphere” and “The Recovery College has really helped me develop skills I didn’t know, meet new people and build my confidence. I enjoyed my course a lot.”
Sussex Recovery College holds a number of open days throughout the year for people to learn more about what’s available and book on to courses. The next East Sussex open days are:
- Wednesday 2 October, Eastbourne Town Hall
- Thursday 3 October, All Saints Centre, Lewes
- Wednesday 9 October, Muriel Matters, Hastings
The new prospectus of courses for the Autumn term will be available shortly at www.sussexrecoverycollege.org.uk. Alternatively, call 0300 303 8086 for more information.