Festive greetings to each and every one of you! Please see below for a message from our manager, Kirsty Giles.
For the first time, the Recovery College team is offering workshops during the festive season, recognising that this year may be even more difficult than usual for many of the people we support. We hope that those of you who do join us online over the next few weeks feel welcomed, encouraged, and have the opportunity to connect with other people during a time where physical connection is limited but our contact and connections are more important than ever.
These sessions are available to everyone, free of charge. You don’t need to be a SLaM Recovery College student or have any connection at all to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. We just ask that you answer a few questions and let us know which sessions you’d like to be a part of, using one of the registration forms links below, and we’ll then send you links to the webinars you’ve chosen.
The great majority of our webinars are run as Live Events on the Microsoft Teams platform, meaning that you can join anonymously and will neither be seen nor heard. Instead, you interact by typing questions and comments into a Q&A panel. Occasionally we will run a course in a Meetings format for a limited group of students, where you will be seen and heard, but these will be clearly identified as such.
If you can't make a particular live event you can still enrol and use the link we'll send you to watch a recording later on.
Daily Mindfulness (you can attend as many or as few as you’d like):
Tuesday Mindfulness | 10:30am-11:15am | Tuesday 29th December
Wednesday Mindfulness | 10:30am-11:15am | Wednesday 30th December
Thursday Mindfulness | 10:30am-11:15am | Thursday 31st December
Monday Mindfulness | 10:30am-11:15am | Monday 4th January
Tuesday Mindfulness | 10:30am-11:15am | Tuesday 5th January
Wednesday Mindfulness | 10:30am-11:15am | Wednesday 6th January
Thursday Mindfulness | 10:30am-11:15am | Thursday 7th January
Friday Mindfulness | 10:30am-11:15am | Friday 8th January
Understanding the Impact of Substance Use on Mental Health
This three-part course explores the use of substances (drugs and alcohol) and their impact on mental wellbeing. At times, using substances can appear to be a solution but it often has a longer-term impact on our wellbeing. During these sessions we will explore why this happens and what support is available to aid recovery.
Part 1 | 12noon-1pm | Tuesday 29th December
Part 2 | 12noon-1pm | Thursday 31st December
Part 3 | 12noon-1pm | Wednesday 6th January
Ayurveda, the “wisdom of life”, is a traditional system of healing from South Asia. These sessions were co-developed by Ayurveda experts in Sri Lanka and the UK, Buddhist scholars and monks in the Theravada tradition, UK registered mental health professionals, and SLaM Recovery Trainers who have direct lived experience of mental health problems.
Part 1: self-massage for our hands | 2:30pm-3:30pm | Tuesday 29th December
Part 2: self-massage for our feet | 2:30pm-3:30pm | Wednesday 30th December
Stretch, Breath, Release| 12noon-1pm | Wednesday 30th December
A gentle session for all levels and abilities, combining slow, gentle, movements with stretching. Mindful pauses and check-ins will help you to locate where you hold tension and stress in the body. Movement and breathwork will help you to release tension in these areas and you will learn what you can do in the moment to support well-being on a day to day basis. Our body and our moving body is the most underused tool to well-being. This class will give you some practical ways to spot, and shift, tension in the body. It is suggested to wear loose clothing, have a relatively private place to engage with the session and bring a water or tea to keep you hydrated. Try what you can, there are no stupid questions.
Introduction to Beth: a new way for service users, carers and staff to communicate and collaborate | 12noon-1pm | Tuesday 5th January
For service users, Beth is very friendly and overall easy to use and supports personal choice and autonomy. You can link your Beth account with your NHS number to access your health records and:
- see who is in your care team and support network
- securely message your care team
- access your current care plan
- see all your appointments
- keep track of your mood and sleep
- use online free and trusted health resources
Introduction to Recovery Part 1 (of 2) | 2:30pm-3:30pm | Thursday 7th January
Many people find being diagnosed with mental health difficulties devastating. Too often people feel that their life is over and that they will never be able to fulfil their dreams and ambitions or lead a satisfying and valued life.But it does not have to be this way. Whatever age a person is, whether they have only recently been diagnosed, or whether they have had a diagnosis for some time, recovery is possible, no matter how serious the person’s difficulties. It is possible for people to rebuild a meaningful, valued and satisfying life. This two-part course explores the impact of mental health difficulties on people’s lives, what helps people to grow within and beyond what has happened, and how they can rebuild their lives. Date for the second session is 14th January, at 2:30pm.
Keeping Safe Online Part 1 (of 4) | 2:30pm-3:30pm | Friday 8th January
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, many of us have relied, much more than previously, on the internet to live our daily lives. Seeing and communicating with family and friends, our working lives, studying, shopping - all those activities we once took for granted - have shifted over to cyberspace: "we're living online now!" This four-part course explores what we can do to protect our privacy, finances, and mental health when we go online. This course is recommended for people who already use personal email, social media and online shopping.
Dates for the other three sessions are: 11th, 15th and 18th January, all at 2:30pm.
FIRST TIME REGISTRATION, if you haven’t signed up to a webinar with us before (even if you are a SLaM Recovery College student):
RETURNING STUDENTS REGISTRATION, if you have already signed up to a webinar with us before:
Please feel free to share this offer of free-to-view webinars with anyone who you think might benefit.
Visit our COVID_19 resources page for details of crisis support, covid-19 advice, online learning, online activities, and staying connected: https://www.slamrecoverycollege.co.uk/covid-19-resources.html
With very best holiday wishes,
The team at South London and Maudsley Recovery College
A message from Kirsty Giles, SLaM Recovery College Manager
By the time you receive this message, I hope that you have had an enjoyable and safe start to the festive season after a long and challenging year for us all.
2020 has not been the year anyone would have expected back in February when we started the Spring term. I want to acknowledge the incredible effort the Recovery College team have put into developing an online service in the face of significant challenges. The quick turnaround from a classroom-based service to a virtual college within a month is testimony to the commitment the team put into ensuring we could continue to support our students during a time where everything felt so uncertain. This learning was shared widely with other services and staff across the trust and with our recovery college colleagues across the UK and beyond, reflecting the generosity of spirit that exists within the recovery college world.
Each member of the team has had to adapt their working life at a time when their home lives have also been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. I am incredibly proud to lead such a dynamic, creative, enthusiastic and caring team who have put the very different needs of our students this year, at the forefront of everything they do. The recovery college team have all been working from home since March, so we look forward to a time when it is safe to meet with one another and students again. We recognise that delivering our courses and workshops online isn’t the same as being together in the classroom, where our students are often teaching one another and sharing their knowledge with our team too. However, we have appreciated the feedback that students have given us about the team adapting and offering a different type of recovery college.
For the first time, the Recovery College team is offering workshops during the festive season, recognising that this year may be even more difficult than usual for many of the people we support. We hope that those of you who do join us online over the next few weeks feel welcomed, encouraged and have the opportunity to connect with other people during a time where physical connection is limited but our contact and connections are more important than ever.
While we all really want to get back to face-to-face classroom teaching as soon as possible, we have reflected on some of the positives the pandemic has unexpectedly given us:
- an online service that we will continue to offer when the needs for social distancing reduces and we are able to access our teaching venues
- a new set of skills and confidence in developing and teaching online webinars and courses
- an e-learning package in development where students can access short online courses in their own time
- the ability to offer coproduced wellbeing education to anyone, anywhere who wants to take part
- and probably most importantly, being able to reach a significant number of students using digital technology who may not have had the confidence to join us in our face to face classroom-based workshops in the past.
Although 2020 has not been a year we will remember fondly, I hope that everyone who has joined the recovery college online as a student has taken away messages of ‘hope, control and opportunity’ from the workshops and courses to support their wellbeing and journey during the pandemic. As a team, we wish you a healthy and safe start to the new year and we look forward to celebrating with you when we are able to return to our classroom venues.
With very best wishes,
Kirsty and the Recovery College team
Although these courses are free, SLaM Recovery College operates with charity funding. If you feel these webinars help you, and you are able to, please consider making a donation to the brilliant Maudsley Charity which supports innovative wellbeing projects in our communities.
There is, of course, no obligation to make a donation.
This is the link to make a donation if you’d like to: