Recovery Colleges Bring Hope, Belonging, and Positive Mental Health to Albertans

We are excited to share what we have learned from the year-one evaluation of Recovery Colleges in Alberta.

Recovery Colleges are benefiting people’s mental health, connecting to community, and filling gaps in the care system.

Recovery College Approach

Recovery Colleges focus on building resiliency, hope, social connections, and empowerment. They offer a variety of free courses that are collaboratively delivered with Peer Facilitators who have expertise based on their own experiences. Recovery Colleges take a participatory, strengths-oriented approach to provide recovery, prevention, and life skills development, learning opportunities, and community and social connection.
After a three-year pilot program, in 2021 the Government of Alberta tasked the Canadian Mental Health Association, Alberta Division with implementing Recovery Colleges in eight regions across the province. 
At PolicyWise, we led the evaluation.
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Recovery Colleges are for Everyone

Anyone can participate in the Recovery Colleges. No referral or diagnosis is needed. The courses are designed to support people who experience mental health needs, their family, caregivers, and friends. 
 

Impact of Recovery Colleges

People awho took courses through Recovery Colleges:
 
Gained knowledge and practiced new skills including communication, boundaries, mindfulness exercises, and anxiety and stress management.
 
Built healthy connections with others in the Recovery College courses as well as people outside of them.
 
Felt less shame and stigma around mental health due to the open and supportive environment and centrality of peer support.
 
Felt empowered, self-confident, and hopeful because they learned to identify their values and create boundaries in their lives.
 
Improved their well-being, feelings of life satisfaction, resiliency, and coping skills.

At PolicyWise, we look forward to supporting the continued growth of Recovery Colleges in Alberta!