25 September 2023

Mental health college on trial

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A new Recovery College is to be trialled in the ACT to offer free courses on mental health, recovery and life skills to people living with mental illness.

Announced by the Minister for Mental Health, Shane Rattenbury, the trial, costing almost $900,000, is aimed at helping people with mental illness enter mainstream education, increase employment opportunities and lead a more integrated and meaningful life.

“This is a joint effort between the ACT Government, the community mental health sector and the adult education sector,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“It offers an educational model where people with lived experience partner with mental health professionals to better understand and manage their mental health conditions.”

He said at least 65 per cent of Canberrans with mental illness did not seek treatment until the problem became serious.

“We’ve been listening to Canberrans who have been telling us they need more information and support for self-directed care and self-management,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Students who join the ACT Recovery College will have an opportunity to discuss their goals and develop an individual plan with an educator to help meet those goals.”

He acknowledged that every person’s road to recovery was unique, “which is why the ACT Recovery College will not only cater to people’s individual needs, but also the needs of their families and carers”.

He said Recovery Colleges had been successfully established internationally and were key features of contemporary, recovery-oriented mental health services.

The trial will run for two years.

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