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Our Story

How Did Recovery College YVR Come Together?

Our story came together when shared values met action through the peer driven heart of the Recovery College (RC) model. We shared the desire to have a culturally relevant and safe space that champions lived experience through courageous vulnerability and empathy.

At CMHA North & West Vancouver Branch (CMHA NWV), it started with a Kelty Dennehy Mental Health Resource Centre (the Kelty) volunteer coordinator attending a conference about RCs and realizing the Kelty was already operating like a miniature RC. The secret behind the Kelty’s success has been its unwavering sense of community and connection. RC emerged as an answer to how we grow our community to a larger, more accessible scale. By leveraging the research credibility of RCs, we could validate the successes achieved by integrating a peer driven support model.

Vancouver Coastal Health’s Consumer Involvement & Initiatives program (VCH) could clearly identify that Vancouver needed a brick and mortar space to not only offer courses but also a safe space for participants to find meaningful connection and build relationships. VCH, realizing they needed a community partner, contacted CMHA Vancouver Fraser Branch which sparked CMHA NWV’s involvement as a key partner. With leadership from both organizations onboard and excited at the Recovery College YVR (RC YVR) prospect, by December 2020, we had a small team working on the first research pilot.

With such a buzz about Recovery Colleges across the globe, it’s no wonder our two organizations happened to be exploring the prospect of launching an RC at the same time. With our shared vision, values, and goals for RC YVR, it was a seamless decision to join forces and embark on the journey together.

RC is how we’re building more resilient communities by providing opportunities for growth through community-based collaboration. And it’s how we empower people with the tools they need to live meaningful lives on their terms.

Because that’s what we all deserve.

Recovery College YVR. Real people. Sharing. Learning.

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