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Veterans have access to new recovery courses

Veterans have access to new recovery courses

NEWS

22 May, 2024

Three NHS Recovery Colleges have come together to offer Armed Forces veterans in London a specialist recovery course focusing on improving wellbeing and mental health.

Camden and Islington, Thurrock, and South London and Maudsley will deliver the six-week course, in Islington, North London. The tutors have been trained by the Recovery College team at Armed Forces charity Help for Heroes.

Developed by veterans for veterans, it is an informal educational provision, which looks at improving an individual’s wellbeing, discusses some of the specific challenges faced by veterans, and provides some clear tools to support ongoing health. It is designed to help individuals explore their feelings and discover what recovery means to them.

The Recovery College course will be limited to nine people and will be delivered over June and July.

Service users of Camden and Islington OpCourage service, or who are a resident of, or work in either Camden or Islington, can enrol on the course by visiting northlondonmentalhealth.nhs.uk/recoverycollege and clicking on ‘how to enrol.’

For those based in South London, enrolment is online at slamrecoverycollege.co.uk/enrol.html, and for those who live in Thurrock – or work in a caring or professional role with Thurrock residents – the contact details are thurrockrocollege@mpft.nhs.uk or 01375 809 708.

Recovery College tutor John, a veteran with 24 years of Army service, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to develop life skills that will support participants in dealing with challenging times and building inner resources.

“It’s important to remember that what is learned on this training package can also be passed on to loved ones, colleagues, and the participant’s wider social network. As it’s predominantly a veteran-led program the tutors can readily identify with attendees and vice versa. It’s a powerful peer-to-peer programme that results in lasting change.”

Jane, another of the tutors delivering the course, added: “We are really looking forward to meeting and working with the students. The topics each week are interesting, and it’s great to know that, as well as the students having a chance to talk, they will also get to take away some new ways of looking after themselves.

“I know I learned a lot when I did the training and am still using some of techniques. I’m lucky enough to work in collaboration with the Camden and Islington OpCourage service, and I’m also hoping that some of the students will be interested in participating in a major exhibition this summer in the gallery at St Pancras Hospital.”

The three-month exhibition, launching on 27 June, is in collaboration with the Arts Project and the Soldiers’ Arts Academy CIC and welcomes contributions of artwork by veterans from across the capital.

Related events will include talks, spoken musical evenings, film events, and panel discussions. The Arts Project has presented exhibitions in the gallery for the past 20 years, including ‘The Way Ahead’ which was a tribute to veteran’s recovery journey in 2014.

Help for Heroes champions the Armed Forces community and helps them live well after service. The charity helps veteran families to recover and get on with their lives. It has already supported more than 31,000 people and won’t stop until every veteran gets the support they deserve.

The Charity supports veteran families, from any branch of the UK military – regulars or reserves – irrespective of length or place of service, and locally embedded civilians (and their families) who worked under the command of UK Armed Forces.