Tue 19 Sep 2017 11:00:00 AM EEST
EAEA GRUNDTVIG AWARD 2017. The Transformative College helps adult learners with mental illness to empower themselves and find their own path to recovery.
The article series shares good practices on engaging new learners by introducing the nominees of the EAEA Grundtvig Award 2017.
The Transformative College uses a space based on interactions to engage with people with mental illness, emotional challenges, and their carers.
The Transformative College is open to all, and wants to be seen as a place to engage in purposeful progression, with the aim of gaining direction towards recovery or management of each person’s unique mental and emotional concerns.
The overall aim of the project is to provide a stable, coordinated response to a person’s mental health, physical and social needs thanks to the provision of a space that is solution-focused. It aims to support healthy lifestyles and enhances new relationships with self and others, social inclusion and community participation.
To achieve those goals, students aged from 18 to 78 years old had to choose a topic such as Anxiety & Panic Attacks, Food for the Mind or The Impact of Bullying on the Mind & Person. The class topics that were chosen were then co-produced and delivered by a student with lived experience and professional support to create a meaningful relationship with the class.
So far 200 students have attended classes in the past 12 months. Many impacts can be outlined.
The project helped students to empower themselves and find their own path to recovery. It also helped increase the hope, respect and responsibility of the students, thanks to a peer-to-peer approach.
The project is seen in a holistic perspective, focusing on people’s entire lives, including mind, body and spirit. The Transformative College, by employing a mental health recovery model that empowers students to create change and self-agency, helped to provide a new stable environment for its students.
Text: Lou-Andréa Pinson
Photo: Transformative College