STRUCTURE: An education institution specifically aimed at teaching about mental health recovery has been formerly opened at South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.

The South West London Recovery College, based at Springfield University Hospital in Tooting, is an educational facility, providing recovery education for staff and people with mental health conditions. 

The college offers courses and resources at sites across the five boroughs of South West London and taught more than 1,000 students in its first year.

Health minister Paul Burstow met students, mental health practitioners and peer trainers at the formal opening of the college at the end of last month. 

He said: “The South West London Recovery is the first of its kind in this country, providing educational courses to help people even with the most severe mental health conditions recover.”

Trust chief executive Judy Wilson added: “Our recovery college is at the forefront of developing mental health services which shift the focus away from purely therapeutic support towards an educational approach which aims to build people’s skills and confidence in managing their illness.

“While it is still early days, we are finding that the majority of those students who complete their courses have needed less contact with community mental health services on leaving the college.”