A NEW project has been launched to help people affected by a range of mental health problems in North Ayrshire.

North Ayrshire’s Health and Social Care Partnership has introduced a Wellbeing and Recovery College, which offers a range of educational courses and workshops in venues across the local area.

Courses are absolutely free and open to anyone over 16 who is affected by mental health problems who lives, works or is studying in North Ayrshire.

The recovery college is open to carers and family members too. Councillor Robert Foster, vice chair of the Integration Joint Board, welcomed the project which he believes can make a positive difference to many people across North Ayrshire.

“The Wellbeing and Recovery College aims to create an ethos of recovery in the community by providing transformative educational courses, resources and safe spaces for people interested in mental health recovery,” said Councillor Foster.

“Wellbeing and Recovery Colleges have become established in other areas across the UK and have produced positive results. Recovery Colleges let people know that they are not alone in the community and that others are dealing with similar challenges and difficulties.

“The variety of courses available will strive to help people improve their coping and self-management skills, give them an increased sense of empowerment and, perhaps most importantly of all, give them greater hope and optimism for the future.”

The Wellbeing and Recovery College courses will run in across North Ayrshire and range from half-day sessions to multi-session courses.

The initial range of courses being offered are the result of consultation with local people affected by mental health problems, who will be co-delivering courses where possible.

The pilot project will run until June and will be developed and expanded if successful, with feedback, ideas and suggestions from participants shaping the future of the programme.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Wellbeing and Recovery College pilot should contact the co-ordinators KA Leisure via email at recoverycollege@kaleisure.com or by telephone on 07769935734.