Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Recovery Colleges Characterisation and Testing in England (RECOLLECT): rationale and protocol

Hayes, Daniel; Henderson, Claire; Bakolis, Ioannis; Lawrence, Vanessa; Elliott, Rachel A.; Ronaldson, Amy; Richards, Gabrielle; Repper, Julie; Bates, Peter; Brewin, John; Meddings, Sara; Winship, Gary; Bishop, Simon; Emsley, Richard; Elton, Daniel; McNaughton, Rebecca; Whitley, Rob; Smelson, David; Stepanian, Katy; McPhilbin, Merly; Dunnett, Danielle; Hunter-Brown, Holly; Yeo, Caroline; Jebara, Tesnime; Slade, Mike

Recovery Colleges Characterisation and Testing in England (RECOLLECT): rationale and protocol Thumbnail


Daniel Hayes

Claire Henderson

Ioannis Bakolis

Vanessa Lawrence

Rachel A. Elliott

Amy Ronaldson

Gabrielle Richards

Julie Repper

Peter Bates

John Brewin

Sara Meddings

Richard Emsley

Daniel Elton

Rebecca McNaughton

Rob Whitley

David Smelson

Katy Stepanian

Danielle Dunnett

Holly Hunter-Brown

Caroline Yeo

Tesnime Jebara

Professor of Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion


Background: Recovery Colleges are a relatively recent initiative within mental health services. The first opened in 2009 in London and since then numbers have grown. They are based on principles of personal recovery in mental health, co-production between people with lived experience of mental health problems and professionals, and adult learning. Student eligibility criteria vary, but all serve people who use mental health services, with empirical evidence of benefit. Previously we developed a Recovery College fidelity measure and a preliminary change model identifying the mechanisms of action and outcomes for this group, which we refer to as service user students. The Recovery Colleges Characterisation and Testing (RECOLLECT) study is a five-year (2020–2025) programme of research in England. The aim of RECOLLECT is to determine Recovery Colleges’ effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, and identify organisational influences on fidelity and improvements in mental health outcomes. Methods: RECOLLECT comprises i) a national survey of Recovery Colleges, ii) a prospective cohort study to establish the relationship between fidelity, mechanisms of action and psychosocial outcomes, iii) a prospective cohort study to investigate effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, iv) a retrospective cohort study to determine the relationship between Recovery College use and outcomes and mental health service use, and v) organisational case studies to establish the contextual and organisational factors influencing fidelity and outcomes. The programme has been developed with input from individuals who have lived experience of mental health problems. A Lived Experience Advisory Panel will provide input into all stages of the research. Discussion: RECOLLECT will provide the first rigorous evidence on the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of Recovery Colleges in England, to inform their prioritising, commissioning, and running. The validated RECOLLECT multilevel change model will confirm the active components of Recovery Colleges. The fidelity measure and evidence about the fidelity-outcome relationship will provide an empirically-based approach to develop Recovery Colleges, to maximise benefits for students. Findings will be disseminated through the study website ( and via national and international Recovery College networks to maximise impact, and will shape policy on how Recovery Colleges can help those with mental health problems lead empowered, meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 11, 2022
Online Publication Date Sep 24, 2022
Publication Date Dec 1, 2022
Deposit Date Sep 16, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 24, 2022
Journal BMC Psychiatry
Electronic ISSN 1471-244X
Publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 1
Article Number 627
Keywords Psychiatry and Mental health
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations