“A very interesting and useful course. I learnt a lot and developed skills and confidence.”

BTEC programme student

Our courses are created and run by people with first-hand experience of mental illness.

By choosing to study with the college you are taking the next step forward into a fulfilled and rewarding life, and our courses are carefully designed to provide the best support and help on this journey.

Some of the topics covered:

  • The research about recovering from mental illness
  • What mental illness is and how it affects us
  • The psychology of wellbeing
  • The process and practice of wellbeing
  • How the way we form our own story affects the way we feel
  • How to be mindful
  • How to plan for a new future by setting achievable goals

Discover Our Courses:

Introduction to Recovery - Face to face

Starting Wednesday 14 September

For 6 Wednesdays (until 26 October) – no session 28 September

Venue: The Chapter House, Gloucester Cathedral

Time: 10am-12pm

The course includes teaching, exercises to complete and videos to watch. Students can be service users, carers or staff.

Please contact us to register your interest, either by email at recoverycollege@ghc.nhs.uk or telephone – 01452 894204.

Journeys to Recovering

This is our introductory course. It is led by people who have their own lived experience of recovering from mental health problems. It looks at the journey people take when they begin to take charge of their lives after experiencing mental illness.

The course explains what research tells us about the best ingredients to support recovery. Just as importantly, it also encourages students to share their own experience positively, learn about their own strengths and how to harness them to build for the future.

The course programme includes books and resources to support learning during and after the course has finished.

NEW: Recovery through Activity

Starting Tuesday 22 November 2022

For five Tuesdays until 20 December

Venue: Invista, Ermin Street, Brockworth, Gloucester GL3 4HP

Time: 1.30-3.30pm

With Emma Lashbrook and Recovery College Peer Support Workers, Rebecca and Diane.

This course explores the value of activity on wellbeing; it looks at the relationship between wellbeing and the activities we need, want and are expected to do in our everyday lives and how mental illness impacts this. It involves discussion regarding the topic of the week and an activity to demonstrate its benefits to recovery and maintaining wellbeing. It is designed to be fun and informal; looking at strengths and knowledge as well as areas people might like to work on.

“Activity has the power to change our lives – we should take time to remember the importance of activity in our lives” (Parkinson, 2014)

    Recovering Communities

    Recovering Communities sessions have been set up to keep in touch and continue to support students with recovery after graduation. There will be opportunities for graduates to choose the activities or speakers as well as where and when they take place.

    BTEC Level 3 Award in Education & Training

    This BTEC validated course is open to graduates of the Recovery College who want to develop skills in sharing their own experience of recovery as a trainer.


    With Bill Wright

    Tuesday 18 October 2022

    Time: 10am-12.30pm

    Venue: The Chapter House, Gloucester Cathedral

    Our mindfulness course develops a helpful range of techniques designed to support you in your recovery journey. The course takes an educational rather than clinical approach to mindfulness. This helps you to identify what works best for you, both through group learning and sharing with other students and the tutor.

    Mindfulness can support recovery by focusing your attention positively on what helps you rather than unwelcome distractions, developing a non-judgemental accepting attitude towards yourself and helping you to understand and feel more connected to your own experience day-to-day.

    Discovery College

    Our Discovery College course is for people aged from 16 to 25, and is specifically tailored for the younger age group.

    The course is run by peer trainers who have their own experience of recovering from a mental health problem. Together we learn about the effect mental illness has on us psychologically and physically, and then go on to explore proven tools which can give us hope and relief, and help us to heal and move on. We will learn how to develop a positive mood, how to engage with the world through positive relationships with others and how to bounce back after adversity. The course is designed to fit your own learning style, so there are no direct questions or tests.

    Mindful Photography

    Mindful Photography with Look Again

    Exhibition in September – dates TBC

    Six-week course run by Ruth Davey from Look Again and Rebecca Hauton from Recovery College. This course has now finished. 



    Creative Journaling

    With Recovery College Peer Support Workers and Experts by Experience

    Writing is a powerful means of communicating. We all have something to say, emotions to work though and valuable ideas. Creative journaling can be a means to express and help us understand ourselves.

    We will soon be offering an in-person course to look at this in a creative way and provide you with tools to continue after the course.

    During the weekly two-hour sessions, held over four weeks, we will be exploring different topics relating to your recovery. This will be through informal discussion and encouraging you to participate in a choice of creative journaling activities, or one of your own.

    You’ll be supported to continue journaling through the week leading up to the next session, with daily inspirations and advice on how to prepare.

    Journals and a selection of materials will be provided, and you don’t need any prior knowledge of journaling to take part.

    Growing with Compassion

    In partnership with the Severn and Wye Recovery College and the Complex Emotional Needs Team.

    Do you enjoy connecting with nature? Are you interested in developing learning and skills to foster self-compassion?
    Then join us for a 6 week course at The Butterfly Garden where we will explore the concept of compassion combined with connecting with nature and learning new skills in the garden.
    Each week we will have a taught element where we will explore emotions, the importance of self-compassion and compassion-focused skills, such as mindfulness.
    This will be followed by time spent connecting with nature through a variety of means; such as planting seeds to grow flowers or vegetables and going on mindful walks through the nature reserve.

    At: The Butterfly Garden, Bamfurlong Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6SL
    Starting Thursday, 7 July 2022 from 10.30am until 12.30pm

    Introduction to Recovery - Online

    Starting Tuesday 1 November 2022

    For 7 Tuesdays until 13 December

    11am-12pm on Zoom

    The course includes teaching, exercises to complete and videos to watch. Students can be service users, carers or staff.

    Please contact us to register your interest, either by email at recoverycollege@ghc.nhs.uk or telephone – 01452 894204.

    Journeys to Recovering Part 2

    This three-day follow-up course is aimed at supporting students who previously completed our Journeys to Recovering course, anywhere in Gloucestershire.

    Further information and the experience of those who are on their own recovery pathways is included. Recovery goals previously developed by students will be followed up, with the support of coaching sessions.

    Health and Wellbeing Programme

    A programme of 4 separate sessions to support people who are recovering from mental health problems and need some extra help to start working towards their recovery. You will have the chance to learn more about motivation, plan and try out activities to support your recovery.

    In partnership with Swindon & Gloucestershire Mind.


    Starting Friday 30 September 2022

    Via Zoom, 2pm-3.30pm, every Friday for 6 weeks until 4 November

    Do you like to look a little deeper at the mystery of consciousness and the meaning of beliefs? We are running a six-week course with the purpose of discussing the connections of mind, body and spirit.

    You don’t have to be religious – in fact, having an independent view might be helpful, but we wish to look at how spiritual beliefs can help support our mental health. There are many concepts to discuss, such as ‘uncertainty and hope’, or ‘mystery and belief’. We want people to explore their own understanding of these topics.

    Hopefully you will experience support and encouragement, as well as debate and discussion; sharing your views and comparing experiences.

    This course is not designed to dictate or direct, but to offer a space for mutuality and respect, as well as a place for reflection and review. Spirituality covers such a large area for discussion and we hope each person will bring something different to that discussion.

    Ed is a Recovery College Peer Support Worker and David is the Chaplain at Wotton Lawn Hospital.

    Telling your Story - online course

    With Ed and Jane

    Starting Monday 26 September

    Via Zoom, 11am-1pm, every Monday for 6 weeks

    Do you have an interest in writing? Maybe you wish to write your own story, or another story you wish to tell? We are running this six-week course to help encourage and support your writing journey. It’s not a lecture on how to write, or how grammar works; it’s about offering a space to discuss writing ambitions and the stories we want to tell people.

    Ed is a Recovery College Peer Support Worker and Jane is a Peer Facilitator with Recovery College. Both Ed and Jane have experience of self-publishing books about their lives and we want to help other people to either reach this goal, or any other writing goals they have. You don’t need lots of experience, just the interest and motivation to put your ideas and feelings down on paper. There are many different ways of writing and each person brings their own narrative and interests.

    Hopefully by the end of the course you will be sufficiently motivated to follow your ambitions and we are hoping to provide some ways of getting your writing published, e.g. in the Recovery College Newsletter. Discover the joy and creativity of getting your story and ideas out of your head and into words.

    Students will have the opportunity to share their stories during the Zoom sessions and contribute to the Recovery College Newsletter.

    No previous experience of writing is required.

    Living With...

    Living With… 

    • Anxiety and Depression
    • Psychosis
    • Long-term Health Conditions

    These one-off short courses will be co-tutored by Keith Coupland and Holly Fry, Jane McGraham and Recovery College Peer Support Workers, and Experts by Experience.

    Eating Well for Recovery

    Six sessions with Carly Atkinson and Recovery College Peer Support Workers and Experts by Experience

    Further information and dates to follow.

      Five Ways to Wellbeing

      With Swindon and Gloucestershire Mind

      A programme of four separate sessions to support people who are recovering from mental health problems and need some extra help to start working towards their recovery.

      You will have the chance to learn more about motivation, planning and trying out activities to support your recovery.

      1. Grounding Techniques
      2. SMART Goals
      3. Coping with Anxiety
      4. Five Ways to Wellbeing

      Our upcoming courses

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