Exploring the scope of consumer participation in mental health nursing education: Perspectives from nurses and consumers
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Purpose: Exploration of the views and experiences of nurse academics and consumer academics and educators regarding the scope of consumer participation in mental health nursing education. Design and Methods: A qualitative, exploratory inquiry into the description and views of mental health nurse academics and consumer educators about these roles. Findings: A significant variation in roles from guest speaker to substantive academic positions was evident, with most involvement brief and specifically teaching focused. Consumer participation in education was generally valued but noted to be limited in breadth and scope. Some concern was raised about the relevance of consumer academic roles, with a clear conceptualization of the consumer academic role necessary to facilitate their contribution to the education of health professionals. Practice Implications: Mental health consumer involvement in the education of nurses has been shown to impact positively on the attitudes of health professionals to people with mental illness. Advocacy for increased, meaningful input from consumers into nursing education is therefore necessary to improve practice.
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