“When I first started to work at the RAMH North Ayrshire Wellbeing and Recovery College I had no idea of how powerful the impact would be. Watching our students grow from their first, often tentative, steps on their Mental Health recovery journey to blossoming during courses is truly one of the most satisfying job outcomes I have ever experienced.
I have worked in health and social care for over 25 years and this innovative approach to recovery encouraged students to participate and develop, with opportunities to take part in a Peer Pathway that could result in work, whether paid or voluntary.
The level of input and engagement very much varies from person to person. I have watched students attend one course that has made a difference and they are now able to manage their anxiety and gain employment. Other people like the College structure of being able to attend a few courses per term, moving onwards to the next track over time.
And then the COVID-19 crisis – this totally changed our way of working. All of a sudden we were not meeting students face to face, we all had to discover the new world of virtual sessions. Even the most IT resistant students were encouraged to join in, sometimes with their camera off until they gained more confidence, and little by little it became our new way of delivering courses. Students have made friends that they have yet to meet face to face and I hope that when the time comes we can all meet up again. Although, there is a strong argument for the blended learning model to continue as students with geographical or other restrictions are able to fully take part in courses that the college offers.
It has been a privilege to be part of this exciting project and I hope that the model is spread across Scotland to give everyone the opportunity to improve their mental health and wellbeing.”