National first as Thurrock launches Recovery College

THURROCK is set to benefit from a national first with an IAPT and Recovery College, which launches today, enabling people to regain control of their mental health and stay healthy.A partnership with Thurrock Mind, the Recovery College is part of Inclusion Thurrock, an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service which has already been a great success since opening in April with over 1500 Thurrock residents benefiting from over 5000 appointments attended.Services include talking therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), online CBT and counselling. Also offered is wider support including advocacy, employment, debt benefits and housing as well as bereavement and drug and alcohol misuse, through signposting to external service providers.The Recovery College aims to increase hope for people, support them to feel more able to control their health and lives, and provide opportunities for them to get involved and live meaningful, satisfying lives beyond mental health services. This has also brought about a fantastic opportunity for people with lived experience of mental health problems, known as Peer Trainers’, to getinvolved and use their skills and expertise in co- producing and delivering the courses in an educational environment.Taster courses including Staying Well, Understanding Depression, Understanding Anxiety, Food and Mood and Caring for Carers have been positively received by attendees. An attendee said: I enjoyed the user-friendly way of learning. I found the Peer Trainers contribution really helpful and inspirational.’ Peer Trainers have also found delivering these courses to be a positive experience. A Peer Trainee said: I am so excited to be part of this new service. We want to make a real difference to people through learning together. Every student has so much to contribute and we want to help them realise this.’Inclusion Thurrock’s IAPT and Recovery College has been commissioned by Thurrock CCG and is an important step forward in enhancing how Thurrock CCG supports better mental health in the area.Dr Rajan Mohile, CCG GP Board Member and Mental Health Lead, welcoming the new Recovery College for Thurrock said: The Recovery College is a first for Thurrock and is a great leap forward in providing Thurrock residents with continued care to help maintain good mental health after receiving support from Inclusion Thurrock’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service. Greater focus on mental health as well as physical health is vital when 1 in 4 of us will experience challenges in our mental wellbeing at some stage in our life. Having successful local services like the Recovery College and Inclusion Thurrock is so important for people’s whole wellbeing as well as encouraging stronger and healthier communities. With referral to IAPT assessment around 3 days and the average time to treatment around 12 days, we really are transforming mental health services, but this is really only just the beginning of theRenée Hepker, Recovery College Lead said: Having a Recovery College attached to an IAPT service is great news for Thurrock, clearly bridging public health mental health promotion with primary and secondary care mental health services. Through our partnership with Thurrock Mind, the Recovery College builds on strong community links with voluntary sector organisations in Thurrock. This is really exciting and an innovative way to increase individual as well as community resilience at different levels.’For more information about IAPT and the Recovery College, contact us via our website http://www.inclusionthurrock.org/ or call us on 01375 898 680.

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