Mental health college to help students and staff at University of Portsmouth

EXTRA SUPPORT services and training will be on offer at an NHS mental health education facility that is moving to the city’s university.

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 12:34 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 12:34 pm
The Solent Recovery College was formerly based at Highbury College but will be housed in the Universitys former IT Help Centre in the Students Union building on Cambridge Road from autumn 2019.

Run by Solent NHS Trust and Solent MIND, the Solent Recovery College will offer a range of education-based courses for students and staff at the University of Portsmouth to help them learn practical skills and develop their understanding to keep themselves well.

Over 150 students a year could be directed to the Recovery College, releasing staff in the University’s Wellbeing Service to undertake more in-depth 1 to 1 sessions to support more complex cases and help meet the increasing student demand for wellbeing support.

The courses, which will not be therapy, will also offer extra training and education for staff who support students such as academics, chaplains and engagement officers. 

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Lucy Sharp, director of the university’s department for curriculum and quality enhancement said: ‘The wellbeing of students and staff is a growing concern across the Higher Education sector.

‘We have an enduring relationship with Solent NHS Trust which began over 15 years ago through the secondment of NHS staff to work as part of the Wellbeing team, to our current work together on Talking Change - talking therapies which help improve the emotional wellbeing of our students.

‘Bringing the College on campus also means we’re enhancing support for staff as well as students. It was a natural fit for the University to host the Recovery College as part of our growing partnership and Civic University aspirations.’

The college programme can provide valuable support for staff with mental health and/or long term physical conditions, who are returning to work following a period of absence as well as Mental Health First Aid training. 

Gordon Muvuti, operations director at Solent NHS Trust, said: ‘We have a great partnership with the University of Portsmouth and Solent Mind and believe offering these courses on campus will give students and University staff better access to mental health support and the opportunity to learn more about developing and managing their own mental health.’

The Solent Recovery College was formerly based at Highbury College but will be housed in the University’s former IT Help Centre in the Students’ Union building on Cambridge Road from autumn 2019.