All Workshops & Programs

All Recovery College workshops & programs are co-designed and co-delivered by specialist educators and peer educators with lived experience of mental health conditions.

What is Mental Health?

This stream will provide students with information about recovery, mental health conditions, and the mental health system in the Western Sydney area and across Australia.

ADHD, Autism and Neurodiversity: How different brains work differently

Some people’s brains work differently to most people’s. It’s hard being different when the whole world of school, work and play is designed for how ‘normal’ people’s brains work; and when parents, teachers, friends and colleagues don’t get that what’s easy and normal for them isn’t just as easy for you. Living with this is stressful, and can lead to low self-esteem, social isolation, anxiety and depression

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Alcohol, Drug Use and Mental Health

Many people living with a mental health issue also have problems with alcohol and other drug (AOD) use - and many people who use alcohol and other drugs may have mental health issues.  People with a co-occurring AOD and mental health problem may have worse impairment, a more trying course of illness and are more difficult to treat than people with a singular problem. Research shows people with a dual diagnosis may also have poorer treatment outcomes.

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Domestic Violence & Mental Health

This workshop explores the mental health needs of victims and survivors of domestic violence. The workshop draws upon up-to-date research on domestic violence, mental health and the lived experiences of survivors and their supporters. By the end of this course, students will have a better understanding of what domestic violence is, who it affects, the mental health impacts and how to support people suffering from these impacts.

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Let’s Talk Gambling

This workshop will explore the various impacts of problem gambling on the individual and the family focusing on mental health and multicultural communities. The workshop will provide examples of warning signs and the types of support that are available for those experiencing problem gambling and their families.

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Navigating the Mental Health System

It can often be a difficult process to start a recovery journey when there are so many services out there to choose from. This program has been designed to assist people in navigating the mental health system in Western Sydney and to unpack what sorts of support different services can offer and when, how, and why you might need to access them. Information on using new apps and websites will be provided. Students will also gain general knowledge of the rights of mental health consumers while navigating the system, which will leave them feeling confident in advocating for themselves and in reaching out for help.

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Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety is a common mental health condition characterised by excessive worry, fear, and nervousness about future events or situations. It often includes physical symptoms like rapid heartbeat, sweating, and muscle tension. While some level of anxiety is normal, anxiety disorders involve persistent and overwhelming feelings of apprehension that interfere with daily life. These disorders can manifest in various forms, from generalised anxiety disorder to specific phobias, and can be managed with effective treatment and coping strategies.

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Understanding Bipolar

People who experience bipolar disorder may have extreme mood swings which can range from highly energised, impulsive euphoria (sometimes to the point of having delusions and hallucinations) to extreme depression and to remission in a mostly unpredictable pattern. This can be frightening and difficult to live with or deal with.

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Understanding Depression

What is depression? This program builds understanding of depression and how it impacts on individuals, their carers and families. The program also explores recovery, coping strategies and self-management techniques.

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Understanding Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and body shapes and sizes. This program builds understanding of eating disorders, how they impact psychological and physical health and how best to support recovery.

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Understanding OCD

Washing hands, checking locks, and organizing possessions in a particular way can be part of the experience of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Sometimes called the ‘Doubting Disease’,  why do people living with OCD behave this way? Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder  can be a challenging condition that significantly impacts individuals' lives. It's characterized by intrusive, distressing obsessions and repetitive compulsions that may seem irrational but are often difficult to control.

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Understanding Personality Disorders

This workshop is an introduction to understanding personality disorders. It looks at the history, prevalence and types of mental health conditions that are called personality disorders, and helps students to understand what it is like to live with these conditions. Supports and treatments will be discussed along with key principles of self-care and self-management strategies.

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Understanding Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia, like many mental health conditions, is often misunderstood, stigmatised, and portrayed in popular culture in negative ways. This workshop aims to help people living with schizophrenia and their families, friends and carers to better understand what a diagnosis of schizophrenia means, how to manage it and how to support recovery,

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Understanding Trauma

This course will provide an understanding of how trauma can be triggered during stressful events. Dr Bruce Perry’s ‘Three R’s: Regulate, Relate and Reason’ provides a framework for service users and service providers that uses calm connection as a means to improve the experience of service access and a foundation for effective collaborative problem solving.

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What is Recovery?

This workshop will explore the concept and context of recovery with a particular focus on the personal process and what this means for people with lived experience, families, services and communities. The workshop will cover lived experience and recovery relating to mental health conditions, the evidence of recovery, and the characteristics of services and approaches that support recovery.

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Health and Wellbeing

This stream focuses on information as well as practical tools and techniques to improve overall health and wellbeing, which can have a positive impact on mental health recovery.

Creativity for Wellbeing

In this workshop series, students will explore how creative processes can support mindfulness practice and promote wellbeing throughout recovery. Through interactive discussion and take-home exercises, this series will challenge what ‘being creative’ means and build the confidence of individuals to explore their own creative potential.

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Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Most of us know firsthand that sleep affects our mental state. This workshop aims to help students understand how sleep (or lack of it) affects our mental wellbeing and to learn some techniques to improve the quality of their sleep.

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Grief and Loss

Grief is a natural and normal response to loss. Loss in a person’s life can be the loss of a loved one, a job, a relationship or a lifestyle. Everyone experiences loss and grieves in their own way. This workshop will not only be about bereavement, students will also learn about theories of grief, different types of loss, coping strategies and what life can look like beyond bereavement.

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Let’s Get Moving

We know that getting up and moving is good for us but we still put off doing it.  You don't need a gym membership or a personal trainer to get moving and keep active! This course takes you through some activities you can do from home even in a restricted space. Using a combination of videos and class time we look at what you can do in a restricted space and then look at ways we can remind ourselves that moving is a good idea.

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LGBTIQ Inclusivity

The aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of inclusive practice in the workplace. Students will learn how to apply this knowledge to their work practices in order to ensure an inclusive environment for LGBTIQ staff and consumers.

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Mindfulness

Most of us often feel overloaded, stressed and feel under pressure. It is very easy to get into a spiral and be stuck in our usual automatic reactions (even if they’re not helpful). Mindfulness is an integrative, mind-body based approach that helps people to manage their thoughts and feelings and mental health.

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Physical and Mental Health

This workshop builds understanding about the relationship between physical and mental health. Learn how improving physical health can have a positive impact on your mental health. This program will include practical advice about the benefits of exercise and good nutrition to support you to make healthy lifestyle changes.

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Self-Care

Self-care is becoming one of the most important ways that people can manage their mental health. Recovery depends on all the people involved – people living with mental health issues, workers, and carers, family and friends – being as strong and resilient as possible.  When there are lots of demands and stressors, it is very easy to neglect the things that can help us feel strong and resilient.

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Self-Care & Burnout for Workers

Whether we are working remotely or on-site, COVID-19 has changed the way we work. Often during virtual meetings, we get distracted by day-to-day things and end up multitasking when we shouldn't, and zoning out when we should be tuning in.

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Writing for Wellbeing

In this four part workshop series, students will learn about using writing as a self-care tool. This series will encourage confidence in students' own personal style and will unlock their own unique writing ability. It will build on this skill set to empower and encourage wellbeing.

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Skills for Life

This stream aims to help students build skills intended to assist in their everyday lives and in times of stress. There is also a focus on encouraging students to become contributing members of their community.

Becoming Resilient

When faced with adversity in life, how do we cope or adapt? Why do some people seem to bounce back from tragic events or loss much more quickly than others? Why do some people seem to get "stuck" in a point in their life, without the ability to move forward?

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Being a Peer Advocate

Organisations want people with lived experience of mental health issues, families and carers to work together to improve services. This course provides information about what is involved, and the rights and responsibilities of being on a committee or advisory panel. Students will learn how to constructively participate and become active members of the consultation process.

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Building Self-Confidence

This program focuses on the theoretical and practical ways to build self-confidence and self-esteem. Self-confidence can help in the recovery process and empower individuals to take active ownership of their journey and help them engage fully in all aspects of their life. This program involves a mixture of practical sessions and education to integrate learning and allow students to practice skills that can be utilised in their individual lives.

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