Frequently Asked Questions
Register for whatever interests you! However; if you would like some help choosing where to start, you can schedule an appointment with one of our peers. To get set up with a peer, call us at 604-987-6959 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To access the printer friendly PDF of the monthly social support groups & courses, please click here.
It varies. Some courses and groups run for 1 session or weekly sessions over several weeks. We try to keep the length of each session under 2 hours. Some courses and groups are offered a few times a year and some of them are offered weekly or biweekly.
Nothing! All courses and groups are free to attend, but you must register before attending.
We do not limit online courses and groups to geographic location with the exception of a few of our in-demand courses and groups. If you have a reliable internet connection, you are welcome to register for what interests you. Courses and groups that are BC residents-only will have this specified in their descriptions.
No. Recovery Colleges aim to provide participants with access to learning that complements clinical care for mental health and/or substance use challenges, enhance social connections and personal recovery but not replace clinical care if it is required. We encourage you to seek medical treatment and/or counselling if you require it.
Recovery Colleges have been extensively studied in the United Kingdom and have shown positive mental health outcomes for those who attend including a decreased usage of mental health services, fewer days spent in hospital, and fewer hospital admissions (Bourne et al., 2018).
Bourne, P., Meddings, S., & Whittington, A. (2018). An evaluation of service use outcomes in a recovery college. Journal of Mental Health, 27(4), 359–366. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09638237.2017.1417557
Participants have the opportunity to use art tools as a method for self expression and create for themselves.
Participants are provided with the opportunity to explore topics related to dreams and aspirations.
Participants are invited to engage in meaningful activities to enhance positive health, quality of life, and sense of well-being in many different areas. These can include social, spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental wellness.
Participants have the chance to share their stories to receive and give support as well as celebrate successes and strengths. Also included are opportunities to try out some new hobbies with others.
Participants gain knowledge and practical skills which can lead to enhancing one’s life and managing mental health and/or substance use challenges personally or in the workplace.
In the case of absence, you can reach out to the facilitators and they can provide you with any missed material. If you know you need to miss a session in advance, we recommend that you let the facilitators know ahead of time. There are some courses and groups that are in demand and have wait-lists so we do ask to please only register if you can attend the entire course or attend a group regularly.
Our courses are friendly, informative, engaging and include different activities to help participants on their recovery journey. Many of our social support groups are recreation or skills-based, but we also offer support groups where people have the opportunity to share their lived experience, receive support and give support to others.
It depends on the course or group. Most of our courses and groups are open to everyone at all levels and at all stages of recovery, however; some of them may be specific to age range or diagnosis (e.g. SMART Recovery, Chronic Pain Support Groups). You do not need a referral from a doctor or mental health professional to attend. If there are certain criteria that participants need to meet, they will be indicated in the course or group description. If you are unsure, you can always reach out to us via email@example.com.
If you encounter issues while trying to attending our virtual courses/groups on Zoom, please use the link below for access to both text and video tutorial instructions:
Anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in strengthening their health and well-being. Our courses and groups may be particularly appealing to individuals affected by mental health and/or substance use challenges who wish to explore recovery, or those who are supporting a family or friend in recovery. No referral is needed.
Typically courses and groups are facilitated by two individuals – one an expert by education, working in their field of expertise; the other an expert by personal experience who will share their experience as part of the course or group. Those who are experts by personal experience are called peers. Many of our groups and courses are solely facilitated by peers.
No. Once registered, however; you may be contacted by the group facilitator to ensure the course or group is the right fit. This would be only in the case of courses and groups that are more “therapeutic” in nature such as a trauma group or our Chronic Pain Support Group.
Recovery Colleges are different because they use co-production. Co-production is the umbrella term for a working style where peers, professionals and content experts work together as equals to create a course or a service that will improve the quality of life for members of the community. Co-production is based on the principle that those who use a service are in the best position to help design it. The Recovery College model adopts co-production in all levels of its operations including course and group development and facilitation and governance.
Our courses also offer more structured learning experiences than a typical group program. Courses are designed based on adult learning theory. Each course has clear learning outcomes and activities to explore and build knowledge. Where other programs focus on individual recovery and emphasize the reduction of symptoms, Recovery College YVR focuses on an increased quality of life and social connections approach which is believed to develop people’s strengths rather than focusing attention on their problems.
Accessibility is integral to the Recovery College model and is something we are continuously working on. Please contact us to discuss your accessibility needs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Co-production is a working style where peers, professionals and content experts work together as equals to create a course or a service that will improve the quality of life for members of the community. Co-production is based on the principle that those who use a service are in the best position to help design it. The Recovery College model adopts co-production in all levels of its operations including course and group development and facilitation and governance.