Rebuilding your life

Our courses that promote ways of rebuilding your life include:


Introduction to recovery
(one-day workshop)

If you are new to CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College or would like to take a fresh look at recovery, this course is a great starting point. This introductory workshop explores the impact of mental health difficulties on people’s lives and enables growth within and beyond what has happened to rebuild their lives.

Many people find being diagnosed with mental health conditions devastating. Too often, people feel that their life is over, that they will never be able to fulfill their dreams and ambitions or lead a satisfying and valued life. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Whether a person is young or old, has only recently been diagnosed or has had a diagnosis for some time, recovery is possible no matter how serious their difficulties are. It is possible for people to rebuild a meaningful, valued and satisfying life.

“Learning about recovery language introduced (me) to a whole new glossary of language which is so important. My perception of how I carry out my work i.e. approach towards the people I work with has improved”.
(CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College Student)

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Recovery and social inclusion
(four-day workshop)

Recovery is about changing the experience of people who have mental health difficulties. It is a framework for understanding mental health as experienced by those who also have lived experience of mental health difficulties. It challenges current beliefs about ‘madness’ in society and has significant implications for how people receive services that are designed to aid recovery.

This course is aimed at building on your existing experience, insights and knowledge of recovery and social inclusion. It is a combination of presentations and exercises that give you the opportunity to apply new principles. The Recovery and Social Inclusion course will enable you to develop the approach, skills and values of recovery for people with mental health difficulties.

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You and your wellbeing – a dozen ways to make it better
(one-day workshop)

You will hear about, and discuss, a dozen key areas, which have a powerful impact on human physical and mental health. You will also have the opportunity to carry out a well-being check on yourself and draw up a personal action plan to help you make improvements that you feel will enhance your well being. We will also include suggestions about resources, which can support you to achieve this.

Come prepared to consider information on a range of physical and mental health topics, and identify how this may relate to your personal lifestyle and well being. This course is relevant for everyone - there is always potential for change!

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CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College taster sessions for supporters (family, friends & carers)
(seven two-hour workshops)

This programme can be attended individually or as a series: a great opportunity to meet others with similar experiences and share knowledge within a learning environment.

Workshops focus on the following topics:

  • Thinking about the major mental health concepts and treatment approaches
  • Introduction to recovery
  • Carers’ journeys: telling your own story
  • Navigating the mental health system: mental health services and the Care Programme Approach
  • Navigating the mental health system: dealing with crisis
  • Coping with the challenges of caring
  • Coping with challenges of addictions

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Telling your story
(eight half-day workshops over eight weeks)

This course is open to people who currently or previously have used CNWL mental health services. The experience of having mental health difficulties can be devastating. It can mean being faced with lots of strong emotions and feelings and often, a loss of direction in life. The process of telling your story is a way of making sense of what has happened and gaining a better sense of who we are. It can help to put things into perspective and find a way through feelings of hopelessness but most of all it can help to heal.

This course uses a variety of media including art, writing and collage for participants to explore expressing their experiences and emotions. Participants do not have to be artists or good at writing to attend the course as it is about finding a way to accept, express, celebrate and move on.

Participants will be encouraged to produce their recovery story in a medium of their choice to be presented in the final session (optional).

“Sharing stories lessens feelings of being odd. Sharing who we are, in an in-depth way is healing. I felt emancipated and strengthened by being able to tell my story which is personal and sensitive in nature.”
(CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College student)

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Go smoke-free the stress-less way
(10half-day sessions over 10 weeks comprising a four-week foundation course and six weeks quit support)

This course aims to support you to quit smoking and improve your mental and physical health and well being at the same time! We will guide you to prepare yourself to quit successfully, support you through the early weeks after you quit and help you stay on track. Without doubt, quitting smoking can seem an impossible challenge if you have come to rely upon it to help you cope with problems. However, with thorough preparation it can be much easier than you think and as a successful quitter you will feel better than you have done in a long, long time!

All we ask is that you come to the course genuinely wanting to quit and are prepared to participate as fully as you can in the process, working with us and fellow quitters in the group. You don’t have to have the know-how or the confidence at this stage – that’s what the course aims to help you with.

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Recovery thinking: understanding your alcohol use
(half-day workshop)

This is an introduction to recovery thinking, values and practices as they apply to alcohol use. The workshop will introduce and explore ideas in an active, participative manner that looks at understanding the principles of recovery for those misusing alcohol and how to define recovery in this area.

“Shared experience is a powerful tool in the learning experience”.
(CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College student)

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Recovery thinking: understanding your drug use
(half-day workshop)

This workshop is based on the same lines as the above workshop but focuses on drug use. It is an introduction to recovery thinking, values and practices as they apply to drug use.

The workshop will introduce and explore ideas in an active, participative manner that looks at understanding the principles of recovery for those misusing drugs and how to define recovery in this area.

“People’s experiences of distress are so wide and varied. We are all teaching and learning from each other.”)
(CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College Student)

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Introduction to managing stress
(half-day workshop)

This introductory workshop examines the causes of stress and anxiety, gives you practical activities and methods that may help you to alleviate them.

"The course was excellent, well presented and facilitated, good interactive teaching and feedback".
(CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College Student)

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Introduction to mindfulness
(six half-day sessions over six weeks)

Life is challenging and messy, and when we are facing our own personal struggles we might experience our minds being filled with worrying thoughts or critical thinking. There are times when we might try and tackle these thoughts, but then we are still left feeling unhappy or perhaps anxious. Mindfulness gives you the chance to step out of the loop and see things differently. Students will learn that mindfulness is about purposeful, non-judgmental, moment-to-moment awareness of our experience. It’s a way of having complete focus on the here-and-now, to our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations. Our thoughts do not necessarily reflect the complete truth, but it can often feel this way. Becoming mindful allows you the space to stand back from your thinking. Mindfulness practice, meditation, breath work, self-compassion and self-acceptance, will be strong themes within the course.

"Mindfulness is a beautiful course that made me feel like I was floating at times. It is such a good tool for my work and myself. I would actively recommend it. The teaching was fantastic, really conducive to learning and so supportive."
(CNWL Recovery & Wellbeing College student)

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Living with change: the only constant in life is change
(one-day workshop)

Modern life moves at a rapid pace and we are increasingly expected to roll with it. Whether these events are daunting and unexpected or pleasant and welcome, for many of us the challenge of adjusting to these changes can take its toll. While we cannot stand in the way of change, we can choose how we respond to its demands.

This introductory workshop explores some of the common responses to change and looks at strategies we can implement to support us in taking future changes in our stride.

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To tell or not to tell: Issues around discussing personal information including mental health difficulties, addictions and dealing with stigma
(half-day workshop)

Once diagnosed with a mental health difficulty it can be difficult to decide who to tell, what to tell them, how, when and what to say. Often the fear of what other people may think or react can put people off pursuing their goals. Stigma can affect relationships at work, with family, friends and people in the community.

The aim of this workshop is to help people to explore these issues with participants and work out a way forward. There is no right answer, the choice is yours.

"Being a peer recovery trainer means being who I am and not having to leave the part of me behind that gets ill at home or hiding it."
(Peer Recovery Trainer)

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A good night’s sleep
(one-day workshop/two-day course/four-day course)

Do you have difficulty getting off to sleep at night? Wake up early in the morning? Spend the night tossing and turning? How much sleep do we need? Are there different types of sleep? The common causes of sleep problems and ways of overcoming sleeping difficulties will also be explored. The aim of this workshop is to help you improve your understanding of sleep and ways of dealing with sleep problems.

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Spirituality and wellbeing
(one-day workshop)

Exploring spirituality with people who use mental health services: conversations that connect. Conversations about spirituality are increasingly being seen as integral to the wellbeing of a person, however spiritual issues are often ignored. Spirituality often becomes more important in times of distress as it can help to give people a new sense of meaning, hope and peace of mind.

This workshop will enable students to explore spirituality and to continue or start a journey with spirituality.

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Managing holidays and anniversaries
(half-day workshop)

Birthdays, Christmas and anniversaries can be difficult times of the year. They can bring up all sorts of difficult emotions especially when you are not feeling at your best.

This workshop is designed to take the stress out of them and help give you some tips and ideas on how to best to manage and get through them.

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Contact details:

Address: Admissions Office 2nd Floor, Stephenson House, 75 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2PL
Phone: 020 3214 5686

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