Coaching for recovery: actively managing long term mental health conditions

2Gether NHS Foundation Trust

This project was funded between January 2012 and October 2015.

  • Project led by 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Based in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.
  • Aimed to help people with stable psychosis to take charge of their own care and reduce their need for long term specialist mental health care.
  • Worked with people with first-hand experience of mental health difficulties to co-design a recovery-focused care plan framework and pop-up 'recovery college' courses focusing on self-care skills, confidence and knowledge about recovery.

This project is featured in our Power of People series of short films, which offer a unique and moving take on how the lives of people using health services and their families can be improved through the determined efforts of people working in health care.

2Gether NHS Foundation Trust wanted to help people with stable psychosis to take charge of their own care and reduce their need for long term specialist mental healthcare. Stable psychosis is when a long term mental health condition has been successfully treated with medication.

The project involved a range of interventions that aimed to promote resilience and recovery, including:

  • a recovery-focused care plan framework, co-designed with people with first-hand experience of mental health difficulties 
  • training for staff in how to support individuals and get the best results from care plans
  • pop-up 'recovery college' courses delivered by peer trainers, with a focus on self-care skills, confidence and knowledge about recovery. 

The team ran two eight-week long courses and one two-week long course. All of the courses were based in educational facilites in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire and were open to people with mental health difficulties, friends and families, and health and social care professionals. Each student was enrolled as an adult learner with the local adult education service.

Who was involved

Partners in the project included Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire adult education services, and the charities Herefordshire Mind, Art Shape and Family Lives.


  • 94% of students felt more hopeful after attending the course.
  • 91% of students felt they had greater knowledge and self-awareness.
  • Some students described the course as 'life-changing'.
  • Some students were signposted and supported into education and employment.


Challenges in delivering the project included implementing the recovery college model in two counties with a large rural catchment area and how to train and employ coaches.

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