The council’s Community Mental Health Team held its second open morning of the year this week, to promote Hope College at Arbour Park Community Sports Stadium. This term will run from October to January.
Nearly a hundred visitors came to find out more about what’s on offer at the college. Hope College is a recovery college, delivering educational courses and activities to people with mental health conditions. The purpose of the college is to provide hope, opportunity and control for every student, enabling and empowering them to reach their full potential.
The team has worked hard over the summer to update the Hope College pathways to help students navigate their Hope College journey as easily as possible. The courses and workshops are now provided under the following names: health and wellbeing, creativity and discovery and developing knowledge and skills. This term we have new and exciting courses on offer, including aromatherapy and relaxation, poetry, yoga for compassion and music appreciation.
The courses are co-created and facilitated by people with first-hand experience of mental illness. The weekly timetable of activities is designed to help develop structure and routine and to provide social support as well as life skills. Students have the opportunity to become peer mentors, using their experiences to help and support others. The college also offers support and training for carers and those looking to gain employment.
Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “As we move into the fifth year of Hope College with even more innovative courses and activities available to contribute to the health and wellbeing of some of our residents, I am beyond proud of the excellent work that our Community Mental Health Team and Peer Mentors put in to make it a success.”
Alex Jones, Recovery Team Clinical Lead, Slough Community Mental Health Team, said: “I am extremely proud that Hope College continues to grow from strength to strength each year and is becoming increasingly recognised within the community. This success is down to all the staff, Peer Mentors and Helping Hands volunteers who continue to work extremely hard to co-create and develop the courses, workshops and activities to meet the needs of the local community.
“I am thrilled to see so many returning and new students enrolling each term and I hope their time with Hope College helps to provide feelings of hope, control and opportunity as they embark on their journey to better mental health. Hope College will be going into its fifth year next year and I am excited to see the college continue to develop and grow.”
The courses also include monthly Carer Café drop in sessions, for those who are caring for someone who has suffered, or is suffering, from a mental health difficulty such as psychosis, anxiety, depression or other mood related problems. They have an opportunity to meet with other carers and receive support and advice with their caring role. There are also opportunities to talk to trained mental health professionals, and access learning and training resources.
Hope College is currently open to all clients and carers that use the Slough Community Mental Health Team. Students are encouraged to self-enrol on to the courses/ workshops and activities they feel will benefit their mental health and wellbeing.
If you would like more information, please contact the recovery team on 01753 690950 or email Geoff Dennis, head of mental health, on Geoff.Dennis@berkshire.nhs.uk or Alexandra Jones, recovery team clinical lead, on Alexandra.Jones@berkshire.nhs.uk