Involving family carers in research and creating change with Recovery Colleges

Event Description

A Guest Speaker Seminar on enabling supporters of those with mental health to share their own stories through involvement in research and Recovery Colleges.  


Recovery Colleges are an international initiative coproduced by experts-by-experience and experts-by-training, offering educational courses about mental health and wellbeing to individuals with mental health difficulties and their supports.  Family and friends of those experiencing mental health difficulties are likely to influence recovery, whilst also experiencing effects on their own lives and their mental health.  However, they often report struggling to get guidance or help from healthcare professionals.  This talk will discuss my research so far, which explores the potential benefits of attending Recovery Colleges in England for family carers.  I will also discuss my research approach, informed by a systematic review I conducted, where I aim to involve family carers throughout the process in ways that enable them to share their recovery stories and experiences to impact research and create change in their own communities.    

Speaker Biography

Bryher Bowness is currently undertaking a PhD in the Health Services and Population Research Department at King’s College, London, England. Informed by seven years experience working as a nurse in adolescent mental health services, Bryher is motivated to incorporate lived experience and recovery-orientated approaches into research and practice.

Bryher is supervised by Dr Vanessa Lawrence (Qualitative Health Research Group) and Professor Claire Henderson (Centre for Implementation Science), who work on a larger research programme which aims to establish how Recovery Colleges in England can provide the most benefit to those using mental health services (RECOLLECT).  Bryher's PhD focuses on how Recovery Colleges can also support family and carers.  Bryher worked on numerous research projects relating to Recovery Colleges as well as family/ carer involving in research.  For the final part of their PhD, Bryher is designing a Participatory Action Research project with an advisory group of carers and Oxfordshire Recovery College.