TheMHS 2014 S088 Educating Students. “I feel much less scared”: Students learning from lived experience of mental health recovery.

By August 29, 2014 No Comments

The abstract for this session can be found here.

Robyn Martin, Lyn Mahboub, Sophie Ridley

This session presented a study that was undertaken as part of Sophie Ridley’s 2-year honours program, and stemmed from a student’s response in undertaking a unit in mental health recovery at Curtin University. Supervising Sophie’s Honours project were Robyn and Lyn.

The study sought to examine the ways in which learning from lived experiences might influence the practices of students enrolled in social work. The research framework engaged third-year social work students who had completed the mental health recovery unit and were undergoing social work placement. The study was qualitative in nature, utilising a focus group and interviews.

Stemming from the study, a number of experiences and reactions were noted:

  • Students became aware of their own preconceived ideas of what lived experience looked like
  • Students began questioning their preconceptions
  • Learning from the lived experiences of others was confronting, authentic and a genuine experience for students
  • Students found their own values and beliefs were either challenged or were found to align with their learning experiences
  • Students found the learning experience to be powerful and took the experience and key learnings with them into practice, including:
    • A greater appreciation of language and labels being used in practice and the sensitivity required; and
    • A shift in focus from diagnosis to recovery
    • The student placing a greater value on lived experience
    • The student embracing a greater sense of hope for mental health recovery
    • The need to develop relationships in practice to assist in recovery