Recovery colleges offer an educational approach which is believed to develop people's strengths rather than focusing attention on their problems. We have reviewed the literature on this subject, with the aim of determining whether this approach to the management of mental health disorders is socially acceptable. We found preliminary evidence that they are indeed acceptable to families and service users. However, the literature is limited. We therefore recommend that further research is undertaken to confirm the status of recovery colleges, with particular reference to the attitudes of family and friends.