World Mental Health Day 2022: Belfast Recovery College

Sometimes you get the opportunity to do work that is very important.

The work we did for Belfast Recovery College was one of those projects.

On World Mental Health Day 2022 we thought it was a good time to share the details of the project.

We interviewed 7 students of the Belfast Recovery College to help create a series which highlighted the impact that the college has on the lives of the people they work with.

A series like this can only work when the human stories being told are authentic, honest and open – and we are extremely grateful to Paul, Rhona, Tory, Carrie, John, Barbara and Anna for doing exactly that.

Series Trailer

You can watch all 7 stories below to hear about the life experiences of our 7 guests and how their involvement with Belfast Recovery College has been central to their pathway to recovery.

Anna's story

“For me, the college was about me choosing to get better on my own terms, at my own pace.

It was empowering – it made me realise that things aren’t so good but they can get better and they will get better.

It’s OK not to be OK right now – but what can we do to change it?”

Carrie's story

“I didn’t choose social work – social work chose me.”

There’s no hierarchy in the college – everyone is treated as a learner.”

“You feel better about what you feel – because somebody else feels it too.”


John's story

“I spent 20 years apologising to my Mum for being ill and she spent 20 years apologising to me for not realising I was ill.”

Getting out of bed was a major success for me at one stage of my life. Now I am here and I’m a Senior Peer Educator. 

I work with wonderful people in a meaningful career.”

Rhona's story

“You need help and support to be on that journey to be well.

I now have a career in something that I absolutely love and I never thought that was possible.”

Paul's story

“Nobody’s exempt from mental illness – we all experience adversity.

“The things I’m doing now in life, I’d never have dreamed I’d be doing 3 years ago.”

Tory's story

“Recovery, for me is finding a meaningful life for yourself, with or without ongoing symptoms of mental ill health or mental health challenges.”

Barbara's story

“Life can change. Things can become better.

“We have to acknowledge that we walk a fine line between being well and being unwell.”