"I felt ashamed because of the difficulties I experienced. But now I can accept that part of myself"

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Recovery College Student

Being in a supportive environment was a highlight. Just being in a space where you were encouraged to be creative without any judgement was lovely.

It’s really easy to judge yourself in life.

Being in a supportive environment was a highlight. Just being in a space where you were encouraged to be creative without any judgement was lovely.

I really enjoyed all the courses I did - sea swimming, ‘Self-Portraits for Recovery’ and ‘Creative Writing’. With the self-portrait workshop, it was really nice just being able to play. I remember being there thinking “I have to make more time in my life to do this.”

If somebody gives you the luxury of space and playfulness in your life, it licences you to be able to do it in the rest of your life.

It was inspiring to be able to be around people who had their own mental health challenges but were able to be so strong. The biggest impression of the Recovery College for me is that everyone’s experiencing quite difficult challenges but they’re all here - whether they’re teaching or learning, or only coming to a few sessions. It’s a space where it’s understood. Everyone is still living and trying to be excited.

Before, I felt ashamed because of the difficulties I experienced. But now I can accept that part of myself, I feel a sense of achievement – because I’m still going.

I feel more able to talk to people about my mental health challenges which is really good cos now I feel more able to support others now that I have a better understanding of myself.

Being able to talk about it, means I can better accept it as part of me.

Delivered as a partnership with the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the Brighton and Hove Recovery College uses education in a supportive learning environment to help people with mental health challenges become experts in their own self-care and recovery. Courses on offer include ‘Poetry for Recovery’, ‘Introduction to Hoarding’ and ‘Recovery and Self-Discovery Through Art’.