Mental illness college set to open in Lincoln
A new college which will teach people how to cope with mental illness is to open in Lincoln.
The Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (LPFT) wants to open a "recovery college" at the Peter Hodgkinson Centre by September next year.
It will run free courses teaching patients, their families and carers about mental health.
The college will be based in the same building which houses the centre's day care ward.
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The plans initially sparked fears that the ward would close but the LPFT says the college will run alongside it, based in spare rooms until it finds its own building.
Lead occupational therapist Jane Tuxworth is in charge of setting up the college.
She said: "We are not closing the day hospital.
"What we will develop is a prospectus of courses and workshops, providing people with the education, knowledge and skills to help them manage their conditions better.
"People would apply via a prospectus like you would do at Lincoln College."
She added: "It is different to a health treatment centre.
"A college has library facilities, an IT suite, and some self-catering facilities."
Through a self-referral process people will be able to decide which course they would like undertake and apply for it.
The trust insists the courses will not replace existing treatments, adding that the 12 people currently using the PHC day ward would carry on using their normal support groups and workshops.
The college will launch at the site in Greetwell Road, Lincoln, but will eventually accept people from across Lincolnshire.
Mary Quint, general manager for adult services and adult mental health at the trust, said: "Initially the college will be located as part of the day hospital at the Peter Hodgkinson Centre in Lincoln, however, it is expected that the college will eventually have a countywide presence.
"The trust will continue to provide a day hospital service whilst the recovery college is developed to ensure it meets the needs of people whom are acutely unwell."
The college will use medical professionals, along with recovered patients as peer tutors, to teach people.
Courses could be about any issues caused by mental health, such as tackling insomnia.
The college will have three terms and offer day workshops and sessions, along with some four to six-week long programmes. There will be 15 courses in the first term, each with a maximum of eight people per class.
However, patients won't end up with any official qualifications.
The recovery college is a significant investment for the trust, which says it will develop the college with help from patients and staff.