In 2012 the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, Charles Sturt University introduced guest lectures from consumers of mental health services and their carers. These lectures were placed within the introductory mental health subjects of both the Mental Health Nursing and Paramedic undergraduate programs. This paper describes this experience by combining the recollections of six key stakeholders: the NGO carer support organisation CentaCare Wilcannia-Forbes, a consumer, two carers, a student and the academic involved. Each provided responses to five aspects: the background to the project, the gains from the experience, the personal hopes and concerns when the project was proposed, the perceived value of the project and finally thoughts about the future of the project.Risks are recognised at an individual level for students, carers and consumers of a re-traumatising nature, and of inadvertent reinforcement of pre-existing stereotyping or stigmatising positions. However, overall, the project was well regarded and is considered worthy of continuing, supported by some research to identify the germane elements.
Jacobson N, Greenley D. What is recovery? A conceptual model and explication. Psychiatr Serv 2001;52(4):482–5.
Repper J, Breeze J. User and carer involvement in the training and education of health professionals: a review of the literature. Int J Nurs Stud 2007;44(3):511–9.
Happell B, Byrne L, McAllister M, et al. Consumer involvement in the tertiary-level education of mental health professionals: A systematic review. Int J Ment Health Nurs 2014;23(1):3–16.
Barnes M, Cotterell P, editors. Critical perspectives on user involvement. Bristol, UK: The policy press; 2012.
Stone TE, Levett-Jones T. A comparison of three types of stimulus material in undergraduate mental health nursing education. Nurse Educ Today 2014;34(4):586–91.
Byrne L, Platania-Phung C, Happell B, Harris S, Bradshaw J. Changing Nursing Student Attitudes to Consumer Participation in Mental Health Services: A Survey Study of Traditional and Lived Experience-led Education. Issues Ment Health Nurs 2014;35(9):704–12.
O' Donnell H, Gormley K. Service user involvement in nurse education: perceptions of mental health nursing students. J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs 2013;20(3):193–202.
Neville C, Goetz S. Quality and substance of educational strategies for mental health in undergraduate nursing curricula. Int J Ment Health Nurs 2014;23(2):128–34.
Happell B, Byrne L, McAllister M, et al. Consumer involvement in the tertiary-level education of mental health professionals: A systematic review. ibid. 2014;23(1):3–16.
Byrne L, Happell B, Welch T, Moxham L. 'Things you can't learn from books': Teaching recovery from a lived experience perspective. ibid. 2013;22(3):195–204.
O'Donovan M. Reflecting during clinical placement - Discovering factors that influence pre-registration psychiatric nursing students. Nurs Educ Pract 2006;6(3):134–40.