Last month I had the opportunity to visit Gellinudd, the soon-to-be-opened recovery centre in Pontardawe run by the Welsh mental health charity Hafal. I was there with my Cardiff colleague Aled Jones, but also with Shu-Jen Chen (a former PhD student of mine: as an aside, follow this link for a copy of her thesis, which is on self awareness and the therapeutic use of self in Taiwanese community mental health nurses), four of her students from the College of Nursing at the Central Taiwan University of Science and Technology and one of our Cardiff mental health nursing students, Alys Jones.
Following this link takes you to the report of our visit published on the Hafal website, complete with photos. The Gellinudd Recovery Centre is opening at the beginning of 2017, and will be Wales’ first recovery college. Recovery colleges are a relatively new arrival within the mental health system; a useful introduction to them is this Centre for Mental Health briefing. The Gellinudd Recovery Centre buildings used to be an NHS hospital, and the whole is located in very pleasant woodland. Right now, Hafal is recruiting for registered nurses (and others) to work there.
Recovery, it has to be said, can mean different things to different people. This is one of the things we found in COCAPP, as we reported in our main findings paper. No shared understanding was revealed amongst people taking part in our interviews. Hafal write about what they believe ‘recovery’ means in their booklet, Recovery: the way ahead for people with severe mental illness. This is referenced in the job descriptions currently on the Hafal website as part of their current Gellinudd recruitment campaign. They place particular emphasis on empowerment, a whole person approach and progress. The term which will be used in the recovery centre to refer to people in residence is ‘guests’, and plans are in place to make the most of the centre’s green environment.
Elsewhere, #NPNR2016 is now only a few weeks away. We meet in Nottingham, and the conference promises to be an excellent one. I’ll aim to post some more about this at a later point.Follow @benhannigan