Our Courses

Course Descriptions


Due to the physical distancing measures currently in place with COVID19, the College is
currently closed to face-to-face classes. Course offerings for Term 3, 2020 have been opened
to new students who have the capacity to use online learning via Zoom. 

Contact admin@recoverycollegeact.org for more information

This is a list of the different courses and a brief description about the content of the courses held at the ACT Recovery College. Please note that not all courses listed below will be held each term. 

Anxiety: it's not that simple: (6 week course) This course guides students to begin to understand some of the causes of anxiety, help them become aware of their personal triggers and explore strategies that help them better manage and re-engage with their world. This course is facilitated by Melina and Georgina.

'Blossom and Bloom' - Creative Flower Arranging: (3 hr course) Blossom and bloom in your recovery; the word 'blossom' means to begin to flourish and develop! "Every flower blooms within its own time" and is symbolic of its own meaning & magic. With an abundance of flowers and creativity learn simple and effective flower arranging for gift-giving and enjoyment.  All materials supplied. This course is facilitated by J'Qui 

Buried in Treasures: (16 weeks - 8 x 3hr sessions - held over 2 terms):  
A SELF-HELP AND SUPPORT GROUP FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF. Would you like to learn tips on how to de-clutter and stop over-acquiring from people who know what it’s like? Join us for this group created by and for people who are ready to live a life less-cluttered! Each week we’ll discuss a skill from the book, Buried in Treasures, and complete challenging and rewarding exercises. We’ll also check-in with our individual progress, challenges, successes, and goals. We will be holding an information session to answer all your questions ( Friday 24th July via Zoom, book here). This course will be facilitated by Carli and Peter. You can read a previous participants testimonials here. This course is course is a collaboration of ACT Recovery College, Woden Community Services and Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services (MHJHADS).

Community Connection and Belonging as part of Mental Health Recovery: (6 week course) This course will introduce different ways to connect with, and participate in, the local community and discuss the benefits to mental health this can bring. Common barriers to participation, such as social anxiety, will be discussed, as well as some strategies to overcome them. Participants will have an opportunity to build connection and belonging within the group through trying sport and physical activity, craft, cooking, sharing stories and participating in team building activities. In the final session, we will explore our values and interests, research opportunities to engage in the wider community and develop a plan for engaging. This course will be facilitated by Tim and Amie.

Creative Care for Recovery: (6 weeks course) Creativity evolves as we experience, create and express! This course is an introduction to art therapy, where students will explore topics and techniques to encourage expression and reflection. No experience required. Download the weekly program for more details. This course is facilitated by J'Qui (Jacquie)

Creative Care for Recovery (Zoom)This course is designed to keep us creatively active during our time of social distancing. Creative care is an important yet over-looked part of our well-being. It reduces stress + anxiety as well as giving us new approaches and perspectives. Creative care is both mindful + mindless, "it quietens the babble in the brain" + the internal conversations, it stills the silence! During this 'stay-at-home' time we will get creative using found objects + materials gathered around our homes plus a few art essentials. This course is facilitated by J'Qui (Jacquie)

DoNOHarm: Safe Storytelling: (3 hrs course) This workshop builds your skills to use inclusive language and minimise referred trauma. Explore personal and professional boundaries to stay safe when hearing potentially triggering stories. This course is facilitated by MIEACT Volunteer Educators.

Finding my way - Drawing on spirituality and meaning for life’s recovery journey: (6 Week) You can gain insight and value from this course regardless of whether or not you consider yourself spiritual or religious. Our aim is for you to identify your core beliefs and meaning and how that impacts your journey, whether you are a person living with mental illness, a carer or just curious. We begin with an exploration of what spirituality means and move through a three-stage model giving you skills and knowledge to use in your recovery journey. This course is facilitated by Melina & John

Food for Thought: (3 hr course) Food for Thought is a basic understanding of nutrition and sharing of ‘One Pot Wonders’ recipes and food budgeting. This course is facilitated by Ariel & Ros.

Get Movin’ and Groovin’ - Social Sports and Fun Fitness: (6 week course) This course provides opportunities for students to try out and learn skills from a variety of activities including rugby, yoga, aqua exercise, boxing, martial arts, and groove. Download the weekly program for more details. This course will be facilitated by Kylie and Emily. This course is funded under a ACT Government Sport Participation Innovation Fund grant.

Goal-setting for Well-being Workshop: (6 hr workshop) This workshop is a hands-on, practical guide to visualising and setting goals to experience recovery and fulfilment in life. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

a) identify areas for goal setting,

b) be able to set specific goals,

c) be able to list the steps needed to make progress with these goals, and;

d) understand the S.M.A.R.T. Goals techniques.

This course is facilitated by Roisin and Fiona. Please note: Fiona sometimes facilitates this course with her assistance dog, Leo.

Healthy Living: (6 week course) Students will be actively supported each week with a 50 minute training session to learn how to exercise correctly (understanding movement patterns and how to perform them effectively); how to make the most of exercise time and techniques to measure and plan for progression; how to design a structured exercise program that is tailored to suit their individual capacity and needs, with a focus on everyday function and performance. After the sweat out, students will also head to the classroom to learn about the principles of a healthy eating plan and facilitated discussions around the importance of basic nutrition in establishing a healthy gut. This course is facilitated by Sam and Marisa. This course is funded under a ACT Government Sport Participation Innovation Fund grant.

Honest, Open, Proud - to erase the stigma of mental health : (4 week course / 1 day condensed) exploring disclosure and self-stigma reduction (4 week course) Research shows those who have disclosed aspects of their mental illness report a sense of personal empowerment and an increase in confidence to seek and achieve individual goals. HOP’s main objective is to reduce the self-stigma associated with mental illness. The program was originally devised and originally by Professor Patrick Corrigan. Please note that this course involves constructing your personal mental health story according to a template, and practising it with your fellow students. Please think about whether you are at the right place in your recovery for this activity as it can be challenging. It will be facilitated by Michelle and Keith. 
This term, HOP participants will also have the chance to participate in a research project on peer-led programs. The research project is part of Michelle’s work at ANU. Taking part in the research is completely voluntary. You can still do the program even if you don’t want to be in the research. See the flyer for more information. This is delivered in collaboration with Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services (MHJHADS).

How to make a ‘Tree of Life’ Dream-catcher: (3 hr course) Create and make your very own ‘Tree of Life’ dream catcher. It’s a relaxing meaningful activity where you create your personal meaning to your tree of life. Hang it at a special place in your home and let your dreams grow and blossom. This course is a practical craft lesson, for fun and enjoyment. It is facilitated by Jessie and J'Qui. 

How to make Up-Cycled coasters: (3 hrs course) Upcycle a piece of garment/fabric and turn it into a coil tea coaster. Or you can continue to coil and create many useful household items. A hands-on workshop for fun and enjoyment. This is facilitated by Jessie and Dianna.

Identifying Strengths: (5 hr workshop) This workshop will explore how to identify strengths and how they can be incorporated in our recovery journeys.  It will focus on the importance of hope, relationships and strengths whilst exploring how to apply these strengths and qualities to our lives. This course is facilitated by Fiona and Ben. Please note: Fiona will sometimes facilitate this course with her assistance dog, Leo.

Learning about Distress Tolerance – how to get through a mental health crisis without making it worse… (3 hr course) Crisis survival skills are about doing what works to get through the moment of crisis. They are concrete skills designed to help you get through a situation without making it worse. In this workshop you will learn Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) Skills to help you build your capacity to not make things worse in a crisis.  We will cover DBT Mindfulness Skills and Crisis Survival Skills, Self-Soothing and Distraction.  These skills are for when the crisis cannot be avoided.  The basic idea is to get through crisis situations without making them worse.  You will develop your own Crisis Survival Plan to remind yourself of the skills so that you can use them in your daily life. This will be facilitated by Melina and Georgina.

Lived Experience Storytelling: (4 week course): Our lived experience stories are incredibly valuable. They help us understand our own experiences, communicate them to others and advocate for the services and supports that we need, and we can tell those stories to help address stigma and change things for the better for everyone who has a lived experience. This course will explore different ways to tell your story, based on who you want to tell it to, why you want to tell it, and what you want the people who hear it to take away. This course is facilitated by Terri and Tim. 

Living Grief and Loss; a real journey in mental health: (3 hr course): There are many different types of grief and many are not related to death. Grief can arise from loss of health, roles, hopes and dreams. Sometimes it is recognised by others but often it is hidden. This course will give you insight into identifying aspects of grief which may be present in your own life or in the life of those who you love and care for. It provides an introductory window into ways that you can live well with grief as an occasional or even constant companion. This course is facilitated by John and TBC

Mindful Origami: (3 hr workshop): Art or craft is often used as a tool to prompt mindfulness. This course discusses the benefits of both mindfulness and art and craft activities then allows the participants to practice mindfulness (or mindlessness) while colouring an origami paper and transforming it into a 3D shape such as a paper crane. We will also write our worries on paper and transform them into a boat that we can float away from us, helping us to let go of the worries for a while. There will then be an opportunity to make further origami models and a simple story involving an origami boat will be shared with the group. No existing experience in Origami is necessary. This workshop will be facilitated by Twisty and Fiona.

Movement is Medicine: (6 week course) This course provides practical activities to help you reduce sedentary time and techniques and strategies to help you gain motivation develop achievable physical activity goals. This course is funded under a ACT Government Sport Participation Innovation Fund grant. This course is facilitated by Jana and Damian and is delivered in collaboration with Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services (MHJHADS).


My Rights, My Decisions: (2 week course) The My Rights My Decisions workshop presents the basic rights of mental health consumers as set out under the ACT Mental Health Act (2015). It explains three key documents that they can complete, in consultation with their treating team, while they have decision-making capacity: Nominated Person, Advance Agreement and Advance Consent Direction. These forms cover things like who they wish to help them express their views, who they want to look after their family and/or pets, and what treatments they consent to or don’t consent to, with the agreement of their current treating team. Their views can then be taken into account by their treating team if they have reduced decision-making capacity in the future. This course will be facilitated by Terri and Jenny.

Navigating the ACT Mental Health System: (2 week course) Finding the right mental health services that best fit with you and your situation can be a daunting process. This workshop will help you understand the key mental health services and supports available with the ACT. We will discuss what services are available from public, private and community sectors. We will also discuss tips for accessing these services. This course is facilitated by Jess and Ciaran and is delivered in collaboration with Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services (MHJHADS).

Nutrition Education & Skills Training:  (6 week course) Nutrition Education & Skills Training (NEST) is a free cooking and nutrition program run by OzHarvest, this is designed to increase your food knowledge, skills and help you make lasting changes for better health. Over the 6 week course, you’ll cook some delicious meals and snacks. We’ll teach you simple nutrition tips and help you save money on your food budget. All you need to do is set aside the time - we will provide everything else. At the end of the program you will receive a certificate of completion, take home resources and your very own customisable OzHarvest Everyday Cookbook.

Overcoming Self-Stigma: (6 week course) This course will explore the manifestations and consequences of self-stigma by first understanding societal stigma and the origins, causes and effects of prejudice, discrimination and bias. Evidence-based content will explore strategies and techniques to assist in overcoming the negative effects of self-stigma, explore the pro's and con's of disclosure and learn strategies for developing self-esteem and self-efficacy. This course is facilitated by Greg and Penne.

Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder: (3 hr course) This course guides students through Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD is a complex mental illness that is often misunderstood. This training has been designed to provide you with a good understanding of BPD. It will provide an understanding and examples of each of the BPD traits listed in the DSM V and how they affect behaviour.  You will learn what “dysregulation” means, how to distinguish between the facts and stigma around BPD and the evidence-based treatments available for people with BPD.  You will be provided with useful resources and learn what support is helpful for the families of those with BPD. This course will be facilitated by Melina and TBA

Understanding Self - Harm: (6 weeks) Self-harm means different things to different people. It does not discriminate against age, gender, culture or social environment. If you are or have been personally affected by self harm, including as a carer, or just want to understand more about it, this course will provide an overview of Who, What, Where and Why of Self Harm behaviours. We will provide an accepting, non-judgemental space to learn more about self harm and through this we will break down some common stereotypes and stigma surrounding it. Our approach will include creative and mindfulness activities with a focus on building knowledge, resources and alternative approaches to meeting the underlying needs behind self harm behaviours. This course will be facilitated by Molly and Kate.

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©2020 by ACT Recovery College.

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