Recovery colleges

An East Anglian study will look at whether NHS mental health Recovery Colleges can help support people living with dementia.  There are already 85 Recovery Colleges across the country for people who use mental health services, but this will be the first opportunity to see whether they have a role in dementia care specifically.

The colleges offer courses for patients, families and staff, and people who use services help to design and run the courses.  They are known as “peer tutors”. The DISCOVERY study, run by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, aims to find out whether people with dementia find the role of peer tutor helps them.

Exeter University’s Professor Chris Fox, who is co-leading the project, explained: “It may seem puzzling to talk about ‘recovery’ in dementia, when dementia is a progressive illness.  However, recovery in mental health refers to ‘recovering a life after diagnosis.’ The ‘personal recovery’ is about managing difficult symptoms whilst living a meaningful, enjoyable life.”

The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research.