“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.


Please note

Due to Covid-19 we are not currently running face-to-face courses, but we do have a number of online courses available. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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:

An Introduction to Recovery

The online course includes teaching, exercises to complete and videos to watch. When students have registered they can access the course for up to one year. Students can be service users, carers or staff.

At the start of the course we arrange to meet students via Zoom – we will support everyone in getting online. Each Zoom session lasts for one hour, and will take place once a week for seven weeks. During the introductory session we guide students through the course. The following six Zoom sessions will give students the opportunity to share their thoughts on the subjects we introduce each week, and will include a PowerPoint presentation on the topic for the week.

If students prefer not to join us for the Zoom sessions, but still would like to do the online course, then that is fine.

The course is run by tutors/peer support workers/experts by experience, who all have lived experience.

The next course is due to start 11 January 2022, so please do contact us to register your interest, either by email at recoverycollege@ghc.nhs.uk or telephone 01452 894204.

Recovery Communities

Recovery 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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


Spirituality course with Ed and David, starting Friday 14th January 2022:  2-3pm every Friday for 6 weeks on Zoom.

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

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is a respected national learning programme and we are pleased to offer this through our Recovery College. The course is a four hour introductory mental health awareness course which will be enable you to:

  • Gain a wider understanding of the issues surrounding mental health
  • Work more effectively with people experiencing mental health problems
  • Identify the discrimination surrounding mental health problems
  • Define mental health and some mental health problems
  • Relate to people’s experiences
  • Help support people with mental health problems
  • Look after your own mental health

The course is aimed at anyone who is in a situation where they may benefit from increased awareness of mental health issues and also for employers to manage mental health and to promote positive mental health in the workplace. Two free places per organisation are available.

You will receive a certificate of attendance and a manual with further information and resources.

Telling your Story

With Ed and Jane, starting on Monday 24 January: 11am–1pm every Monday for 6 weeks on Zoom.

Ed is a Peer Support Worker with Recovery College and has a lot of experience in writing, including writing a book.  Jane is a Peer Facilitator with Recovery College and also has experience in writing a book.

There will be a Power Point presentation for each session, but we are also going to be guided by you, to see what you would like to include during the sessions.

 We will share the experiences and creativity of others in their writing and telling their stories; think about a subject or part of your story that is meaningful, inspiring or reflective and recovery focussed. We will look at writing articles, poems, blogs, using pictures etc.

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

Prior to the course, students are asked to write about something that is important to them (maximum 500 words), or to do a timeline. 

No previous experience of writing is required.

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.

Our upcoming courses

All Courses
An Introduction to Recovery
Journeys to Recovering
Journeys to Recovering Pt 2
Mental Health First Aid
BTEC Level 3 Award in Education & Training
Discovery College
Recovery Communities
Telling Your Story
Health and Wellbeing Programme
Taster Sessions
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See all upcoming courses...