“I felt some prejudice in the back of my head”: Nursing students’ perspectives on learning about mental health from “Experts by Experience”

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Date
2019-06-20
Authors
Happell, Brenda
Waks, Shifra
Bocking, Julia
Horgan, Aine
Manning, Fionnuala
Greaney, Sonya
Goodwin, John
Scholz, Brett
van der Vaart, Kornelis Jan
Allon, Jerry
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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Abstract
Introduction: Consumer participation is central to mental health policy. Negative attitudes of health professionals are barriers to realizing policy goals. Evidence suggests consumers (Experts by Experience) can influence positive attitudes in nursing students. Research in this area to date is limited and primarily from Australia and New Zealand. Aim: To enhance understanding of nursing studentsâ perspectives and experiences of being taught mental health by an Expert by Experience. Method: A qualitative exploratory approach was used. Focus groups were conducted with nursing students from seven universities in Australia and Europe. Data were analysed thematically. Results: Student participants described how exposure to Experts by Experience challenged their views and attitudes and provided a mechanism for reflection, critique and change. The main theme â changing mindsetâ includes two subthemes: exposing stereotypes and reflection. Discussion: This unique international study demonstrates the capacity for Experts by Experience to contribute to positive attitudinal change towards mental illness in nursing students. This changed mindset must occur for policy goals to be realized. Implications for practice: Nurses in all areas of practice will work with people labelled with mental illness and experiencing mental distress. Overcoming stereotypes and adopting more positive attitudes is essential to deliver quality mental health care.
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Keywords
Attitudes , Consumer academics or educators , Consumer participation , Mental health , Mental health nursing , Stereotypes of mental illness , Education of health professionals , Experts by Experience
Citation
Happell, B., Waks, S., Bocking, J., Horgan, A., Manning, F., Greaney, S., Goodwin, J., Scholz, B., van der Vaart, K. J., Allon, J., Hals, E., Granerud, A., Doody, R., MacGabhann, L., Russell, S., Griffin, M., Lahti, M., Ellilä, H., Pulli, J., Vatula, A., Platania-Phung, C., Bjornsson, E. and Biering, P. (2019) '“I felt some prejudice in the back of my head”: Nursing students’ perspectives on learning about mental health from “Experts by Experience”', Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 26(7-8), pp. 233-243. doi: 10.1111/jpm.12540
Copyright
© 2019, John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is the accepted version of the following item Happell, B., Waks, S., Bocking, J., Horgan, A., Manning, F., Greaney, S., Goodwin, J., Scholz, B., van der Vaart, K. J., Allon, J., Hals, E., Granerud, A., Doody, R., MacGabhann, L., Russell, S., Griffin, M., Lahti, M., Ellilä, H., Pulli, J., Vatula, A., Platania-Phung, C., Bjornsson, E. and Biering, P. (2019) '“I felt some prejudice in the back of my head”: Nursing students’ perspectives on learning about mental health from “Experts by Experience”', Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 26(7-8), pp. 233-243, doi: 10.1111/jpm.12540, which has been published in final form at: https://doi.org/10.1111/jpm.12540. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.