A Process and Intermediate Outcomes Evaluation of an Australian Recovery College Academic Article uri icon


  • Recovery Colleges are a rapidly expanding innovative approach aimed at supporting the personal recovery of people with mental health issues, yet there is a dearth of high quality evidence that evaluates this service delivery model. Objective: The aim of this evaluation was to systematically examine the processes involved in the implementation of the Mind Recovery College™ model in Australia and to measure intermediate outcomes for people who engaged with it. Research Design and Methods: The evaluation employed a co-produced mixed-methods design, involving document review, individual semi-structured interviews, a survey and focus group discussion with people engaged with metropolitan and regional Victorian College campuses. Fifty-one people participated in the evaluation, including: previous and current students with a lived experience of mental ill-health; families and carers; staff members; and community stakeholders. Qualitative data were analyzed using framework and content analysis, and quantitative survey results were descriptively interpreted. Results: Students reported a high level of satisfaction with the Mind Recovery College™ and positive impacts on various aspects of their lives, such as regarding the promotion of learning and growth, the adoption and maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, employment and cultural activities. The results suggest that the Mind Recovery College™ is operating primarily as an educational service that uses a strengths-based and co-production model to emphasize hope in recovery, the utility of lived experience of mental ill-health, and the value of education and social inclusion. Conclusions: Through its emphasis on personal strength and education, the Mind Recovery College™ appears to be assisting people with mental illness to feel more empowered and able to address their personal recovery goals.


  • Hall, T
  • Jordan, H
  • Reifels, L
  • Belmore, S
  • Hardy, D
  • Thompson, H
  • Brophy, Lisa

publication date

  • 2018