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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

Sandra Cleminson and Aidan Moesby

Service user involvement in higher education is now an expectation, with university learning and teaching strategies ensuring it is a priority. Service users have…

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Abstract

Purpose

Service user involvement in higher education is now an expectation, with university learning and teaching strategies ensuring it is a priority. Service users have highlighted the importance of collaborative working and the sharing of their experience. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate an example of how lived experience of mental illness can be used to increase students' awareness of the impact of this and to offer indicators of how they can respond more effectively by following the professional philosophy of client‐centred practice. By involving a service user on an occupational therapy programme, it was expected that students would benefit from the narrative of a service user's experience of mental illness.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper illustrates the experience of collaborative working between a service user and university lecturer, which progressed beyond the telling of the narrative to include more active involvement and the opportunity to influence students' thinking.

Findings

The reported benefits for the service user included feeling valued and a sense of empowerment.

Originality/value

The paper concludes that collaborative working can increase involvement, which promotes recovery for service users and allows learning to be more directly influenced by what service users want from health care professionals.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

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