These are the beliefs that underpin how we do things at Mind Recovery CollegeTM:
It is sometimes useful to label the roles we play, such as ‘client’ and ‘professional’, or ‘student’ and ‘teacher’, but these labels do not change the fact that we are all people. Nor will we treat anyone as ‘lesser than’ or ‘more than’ someone else simply because of the label they sometimes wear.
Life experience is the most important form of knowledge at the College. The wisdom that often comes from life experience is immensely valuable. Often what you learn from tough times can guide you and others in profound ways.
There is nothing ‘abnormal’ about extreme emotions, hearing voices, high highs, low lows, and other ways of being in the world. We will never call someone’s experience an ‘illness’, though people can speak about their own experiences however they wish. If you have experienced it, it’s a human experience.
When it comes to mental health, no one has all the answers. It helps to share what we know. We embrace collaboration with individuals, organisations, and communities. Our students play a key role in shaping the College at every level. We explore many ways of knowing about wellbeing.
Our communication is clear, honest, direct and respectful. We encourage people to describe their experiences in their own words. We respect that what’s true for one person may not be for another.
We help people identify and build on one another’s strengths. We don’t get hung up on the challenges people face. A person’s strengths can certainly include the things they’ve learned from mental distress.
The College is for anyone who wants to get involved. We do our best to remove any barriers people face in learning or contributing to College activities. We seek ways for people of many cultures and many backgrounds to shape the College.
Different people have different ideas about the kind of learning and teaching environments that make them feel safe and confident to share their experiences and knowledge. We do our best to find out what works best for everyone who learns or teaches at the College.
Just as important as safety is the choice to step outside your comfort zone when you want to. At every level of the College, we encourage experimentation to learn and grow, recognising that this involves taking risks, and helping people learn from any mistakes.