MIELEN RECOVERY COLLEGE

Mielen NGO’s Recovery College is a young recovery College in Tampere, Finland. What has become Recovery College used to be a unit providing the public with different civic activities. We started an organisational change after we had found a new focus: recovery orientation. Finally, we adopted the name Recovery College in 2018. Recovery orientation emphasises that goals for recovery are set by people themselves instead of by professionals. Recovery College has attracted interest from both our participants and our partners.

Our aims are:

  • to promote recovery, well-being, and positive mental health: everyone can recover, flourish, and lead a meaningful life
  • to give participants opportunities to pursue their dreams
  • to bring together people of different backgrounds to learn and act together
  • to promote co-production and involvement: we have in our staff professionals of various fields as well as certified experts by experience

The values of Recovery College reflect the core values of our background organisation, Mielen:  Participation, Regeneration, Hope and Joy.

The contents of our programs and activities are developed in co-creation and co-production with the participants.

Individuals can pick the activities they want to participate in, and choose for themselves in which way and how often they want to participate. Our aim is to empower individuals to find their own solutions in a way that works best for them.

Educational activities consist of courses on well-being, such as the Mental Health First Aid® courses, our weekly Mental Health Club, and different lectures about human relations, emotions, and sexuality. Joint learning also takes place in our various group activities including peer support groups, and by enhancing nature awareness with the use of Metsämieli®/ Forestmind mental skill exercises and methods of outdoor adventure education.

Experiential activities include trips, educational outdoor activities, exploring and utilising the healing effects of forests, and visiting culture events together.

Voluntary work in Recovery College invites people to volunteer, for example, to conduct a hobby or a peer group, a trip, or a workshop. We have courses for tutoring and provide support to our voluntary workers all the way. We are constantly developing new ways to take action with our participants.

The experts by experience program is for people with mental health and/or substance abuse challenges. We provide education, support, and possibilities to undertake tasks as certified experts by experience.