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New mental health facility for University students and staff

An NHS mental health education facility will move in to the University of Portsmouth to offer extra training and support services for students and staff. 

Run by Solent NHS Trust and Solent MIND, the Solent Recovery College offers a range of  education-based courses, where students and staff can learn practical skills and develop their understanding to keep themselves well. While the courses are not therapy, they can help staff and students become experts in managing their own mental health. 

Over 150 students a year could be directed to the Recovery College, releasing staff in the University’s Wellbeing Service to undertake more in-depth 1 to 1 sessions to support more complex cases and help meet the increasing student demand for wellbeing support. The courses will also offer extra training and education for staff who support students such as academics, chaplains and engagement officers. 

The college programme can provide valuable support for staff with mental health and/or long term physical conditions, who are returning to work following a period of absence. The programme can also deliver mental health awareness training, as well as Mental Health First Aid training. In 2017/18 the University trained 155 staff members with more staff attending this training due to its reputation and popularity. 

Lucy Sharp, Director of the University’s Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement (DCQE), said: “The wellbeing of students and staff is a growing concern across the Higher Education sector. As a University, we have a long history of investing in the wellbeing of our students and staff. We have an enduring relationship with Solent NHS Trust which began over 15 years ago through the secondment of NHS staff to work as part of the Wellbeing team, to our current work together on Talking Change – talking therapies which help improve the emotional wellbeing of our students. Bringing the College on campus also means we’re enhancing support for staff as well as students. It was a natural fit for the University to host the Recovery College as part of our growing partnership and Civic University aspirations.”

Gordon Muvuti, Operations Director at Solent NHS Trust, said: “We have a great partnership with the University of Portsmouth and Solent Mind and believe offering these courses on campus will give students and University staff better access to mental health support and the opportunity to learn more about developing and managing their own mental health.”

The first UK-based Recovery College opened in 2010 and there are now 77 across England, with international interest from countries such as Australia and America. 

The Solent Recovery College will move into the former IT Help Centre

The Solent Recovery College was formerly based at Highbury College but will be housed in the University’s former IT Help Centre in the Students’ Union building on Cambridge Road from autumn 2019. Guidance on how to access the Recovery College is currently being shaped, with further information to be shared in due course.

Relocation of IT support and University ID cards service

IT student support and University ID cards services have moved from the IT Help Centre to the Library. This means staff and students can pick up their University ID cards from Monday to Friday between 8.30am to 5.00pm during term time and between 9.00am and 5.00pm outside of term time. Card printing is not available on bank holidays or between 23 December and 1 January.

This process is different to the start of term where all card production will move to Spinnaker Sports Centre on 5 August – 11 October. From Monday 14 October staff and students will be able to pick up their University ID cards from the Library.

3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Good morning,

    I would like more information about how to take part into the mental health and support training please.

    Many thanks,


    • Hi Constanza,

      We will share information on how to access the Recovery College soon as the guidance is still being developed. It should be open from autumn.

  2. This will be an extra golden feather for all the UoP members. Well done team.

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