Community-based specialist mental health service Mind Recovery College was launched at La Trobe University in Shepparton yesterday.
The courses offered by the college are different to traditional mental health services and encourage participants to gain a better understanding of mental health through education.
The college will offer a range of courses focusing on clients’ strengths and aspirations, including Introduction to Managing Stress, Smart Spending and Self Care.
College director Dianne Hardy said the non-for-profit organisation prided itself on welcoming people and the sessions were driven by the people who attended and not the facilitator.
‘‘Many people have told us that the course and the approach make them feel more like a person rather than a diagnosis. No-one is concerned about why you are there, everyone is a student,’’ Ms Hardy said.
‘‘It’s focused on the topic rather than on the individual. We bring in a range of people, such as clinicians but also people who have had that lived mental illness experience.
‘‘The college is not only for those with a lived experience of mental illness; their friends, family, carers, and health professionals can also benefit, and anyone interested is welcome to attend.’’
The organisation Mind has been in Victoria for 40 years and has provided services in Shepparton and the region since 1999.
Ms Hardy said they believed there was a need for the service in Shepparton and were testing the waters to see the level of interest.
‘‘It’s a collaborative project with other health organisations in the area and we hope to start conversations on breaking the stigma around mental health.’’
The model started in 2007 and comes from Britain.
The Mind implemented the model in 2013 and has centres across Victoria.
If your are interested in attending the course, email [email protected] or phone 57231019.