College of recovery plan across State

Sam JonesNorth West Telegraph

The State’s first Recovery College will be established in the second half of next year, with four Pilbara locations tipped to receive the facilities, aimed at self-directed recovery for drug and alcohol abuse and mental health support.

First established in London in 2010, the colleges introduce person-centred mental health, alcohol and drug support services, delivered and designed by people with lived experience as consumers, family members, carers or professionals.

The college will operate using a hub and satellite design, which will be progressively rolled out across the State, including four proposed Pilbara locations: Karratha, Hedland, the Shire of Ashburton and the Shire of East Pilbara.

Headspace Pilbara service manager Samara Clark said she had seen the Recovery College in action and was excited the programs would be established not just in major cities, but also in the Pilbara.

“The key to its success is engaging people with lived experience in mental health, alcohol and other drug issues to co-design and co-deliver the courses,” she said.

“With mental ill-health, alcohol, drug issues and suicide all impacting our community in the Pilbara, I’m pleased to see our region will receive fast-tracked access to the satellite courses.

This will be a game changer for our communities where we don’t currently have community-led support options.”

The programs will be introduced as part of a $3.6 million investment announced by the Government earlier this month, and will be available to anyone wishing to learn more about improving mental health, and issues related to alcohol and other drug use.

Minister for Mental Health Roger Cook said it was hoped the colleges would provide a central hub to share knowledge about mental health and recovery.

“The Western Australian Recovery College will provide a location for the whole community to come together to learn and share knowledge about mental health, including consumers, carers, families, clinicians and interested community members,” he said.

“It will be fantastic to see several non-government organisations come together to operate this Statewide Recovery College.”

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