Media Release: ACT Recovery College will be officially opened on 10 April 2019

The ACT Minister for Mental Health, Shane Rattenbury MLA will officially open the new ACT Recovery College on Wednesday 10 April 2019 between 10am – 11am at Unit 2, 9-11 Montford Cres Lyneham.

Please Note: the official launch is invitation only, please see our 3 April Blog for details of our Open Week. Media are invited to attend.

The ACT Recovery College is being piloted over two years, and was developed in partnership between ACT Health, Mental Health Community Coalition ACT, Carers ACT and ACT Mental Health Consumer Network.

The ACT Recovery College is a place of learning, connection, opportunity and hope for both people with lived and people with professional experience of mental health issues.

  • Learning: Promoting person-centred education where the voice of the lived experience is heard and respected in equal partnership with clinicians and professionals.

  • Connection: Enhancing social inclusion and community belonging is central to ‘living a good life’.

  • Opportunity: It’s never too late to learn new knowledge, attitude and skills.

  • Hope: Recovery is possible.

The College will operate in a similar way to adult learning centres but with a focus on mental health and wellbeing. The ACT Recovery College will offer a range of free classes to suit the needs of the Canberra community. Our first classes will begin on Monday 6th May 2019 and run through to early July.

Dr Tessa Cleradin, the Recovery College Educational Manager, explains that our free classes provide an opportunity for mutual learning where each voice is respected as equal. “Our courses will be co-produced and co-facilitated by people with lived and professional experience.”

When students enrol in the College, they will have an opportunity to identify their goals and develop an individual learning plan. Students will be supported throughout their studies by their educators, staff and their fellow students.

Terri Warner, Chair of the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network, said that “the Network is proud to have been involved in the development of the ACT Recovery College with our members taking active roles from the very start. The Recovery College is a unique public learning initiative. It will be a fantastic opportunity for consumers, carers and health professionals to work together through a co-design model.”

MHCC ACT Executive Officer Simon Viereck describes how ​Recovery Colleges complement other mental health services and help increase individuals’ ability to stay well. “Research from established Recovery Colleges around the world show that participation in courses can help reduce the incidence and severity of relapse, and enable people to participate more fully in life. They can also be a launch pad into mainstream education, employment and re-connection with the community.”

Minister for Mental Health Shane Rattenbury said the ACT Government is proud to support the trial. “We’ve been listening to Canberrans who have been telling us they need more information and support for self-directed care and self-management. We are funding the trial of the Recovery College because it will offer this personalised support and has the potential to make a real difference to the way we approach and treat mental illness.”


The Minister and the following representatives will be available for interview at the launch:

Simon Viereck – Executive Officer, Mental Health Community Coalition

Alex Scetrine – Mental Health Policy Officer, Carers ACT

Terri Warner - Chair, ACT Mental Health Consumer Network

Peer Educators – consumer and carer representatives

For further information, please contact:

Dianna Smith – Recovery College Manager – 0490 775 436

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ABN: 66 633 659 908
Mental Health Community Coalition of the ACT ABN: 22 510 998 138