RCOMH Partner - The Retreat
The Retreat is a not-for-profit specialist mental
health provider, working with the NHS to provide care for people
with complex and challenging needs.
The Retreat was founded in 1792 by William Tuke, a Yorkshire
Quaker, and opened in 1796. It remains to this day a Quaker
organisation. It has the distinction of having been the
first establishment in England where mental illness was
regarded as something from which a person could recover, and people
were treated with understanding, respect and dignity.
The Retreat had a profound influence on public opinion, resulting
ultimately in fundamental reform of the laws relating to mental
illness and its treatment.
The present day Retreat seeks to retain the original principles
behind the early moral treatment practised here, whilst being
responsive to what is best in latest clinical expertise and
practice. We provide modern healthcare, based on traditional
We are delighted to be a founding member of the newly
created RCOMH. Our long held values based on Quaker principles
include supporting the individual’s right to choose an approach
which best supports their recovery and holding a belief in the
persons potential to recover. We see these values as being
congruent with the aims of RCOMH, believing that integrative
approaches to research and evaluation should seek to identify and
explore the important aspects of the ‘experience’ of all mental
We look forward to a long relationship with RCOMH, drawing on
the strengths of the founding partners to gain an international
reputation of excellence in mental health research. Whilst there
are other centres of research what makes RCOMH unique is the focus
on its value base and the integrative nature of research
methodologies, and professional and user perspectives it seeks to
employ to explore, understand and identify the issues of importance
in an individual’s mental health, recovery and wellbeing.