Evaluation Recovery College Bern

The project is evaluationg the Recovery College Bern (RCB). The RCB is an educational offer to promote mental health and self-determined living.



The RCB offers learning and exchange opportunities on the topics of mental health, mental crises and self-determined living. The courses, seminars and workshops of the RCB are jointly developed and conducted by people with own experiences of illness and recovery and people with professional experience in the field of mental health. The evaluation will examine the impact of the RCB in the area of "vision and impact" at participant level in the thematic areas of hope, mental health/ recovery, self-efficacy, advocacy, empowerment and self-confidence.

Course of action

Taking into account the rather small sample size and the limited financial resources, the evaluation uses a mixed-method approach, which combines a standardised pre-post survey with a topic-centred qualitative interview after completion of the education programme.


The goal of the BFH external evaluation was to examine the effect of RCB on mental health, the process of recovery, on well-being, hope, self-efficacy, advocacy, personal empowerment, and self-confidence. This was possible with the methodological approach, but fewer people than expected participated in the evaluation because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the quantitative evaluation, there were no significant changes between the measurement time points in the areas of health and quality of life, which was assessed as moderate to good. There were also no significant changes in well-being, which was just about average compared to the resident population, or in the recovery process, which was experienced rather positively, or in the perceived low level of stigma. The qualitative evaluation showed that the participants' awareness of their own needs increased as a result of attending RCB courses, but that this was not always easy to implement in everyday life. It also showed that the RCB strengthened self-esteem and empowerment. Life-changing was primarily the realization that one is not alone with burden in mental health. This feeling also seems to increase self-worth, well-being, and empowerment.

Looking ahead

The participants of the RCB tend to progress in their recovery process, this is especially shown by the qualitative evaluation. For this tendency to be captured in a quantitative evaluation as well, a larger sample is needed to be evaluated. Overall, the motivation for course attendance seems to be very high, which positively influences the evaluation. Since the positive statements about the courses remain throughout the evaluation period, the RCB seems to be well oriented to the needs of the participants in terms of didactic and technical contents.