Book of Proceedings: The Magic of the Blank Page: Lessons from the establishment of the Mind Recovery College

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Authors: Graham Panther and Dianne Hardy, VIC

Year: 2014

Event: 2014 TheMHS Conference

Subject: book of proceedings 2014, wellbeing

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 978-0-9757653-9-5

Abstract: The paradigm shift to recovery oriented practice has wide-ranging implications for service development. This paper describes key lessons from the establishment of Australia’s first Recovery College in two sites across Victoria, focusing on the good things that can happen when you have the freedom to create a service from the ground up. Based on colleges in the UK, the Mind Recovery College is an alternative to a therapeutic model of mental health support that draws on education theory and practice to enhance people’s ability to promote their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. Designing the College and its offerings in partnership with our students – through a process of co-production – has enabled a fundamental shift in the type of relationships between the service and the people who access it, and new ways of thinking about mental wellbeing. These experiments in co-production have occurred in the space between two established pedagogies – education and mental health – and between two ways of knowing about mental wellbeing: personal and professional. Starting with a relatively blank page has also had considerable benefits, and the Mind Recovery College model of co-production already has unique characteristics. This paper provides an overview of the project, and outlines our emerging model of co-production.

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