“But I’m not going to be a mental health nurse”: nursing students’ perceptions of the influence of experts by experience on their attitudes to mental health nursing

Brenda Happell, Shifra Waks, Julia Bocking, Aine Horgan, Fionnuala Manning, Sonya Greaney, John Goodwin, Brett Scholz, Kornelis Jan van der Vaart, Jerry Allon, Elisabeth Hals, Arild Granerud, Rory Doody, Sally Wai Chi Chan, Mari Lahti, Heikki Ellilä, Jarmo Pulli, Annaliina Vatula, Chris Platania-Phung, Graeme BrowneMartha Griffin, Siobhan Russell, Liam MacGabhann, Einar Bjornsson, Pall Biering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Mental health nursing skills and knowledge are vital for the provision of high-quality healthcare across all settings. Negative attitudes of nurses, towards both mental illness and mental health nursing as a profession, limit recognition of the value of these skills and knowledge. Experts by Experience have a significant role in enhancing mental health nursing education. The impact of this involvement on attitudes to mental health nursing has not been well researched. Aim: To explore the impact of Expert by Experience-led teaching on students’ perceptions of mental health nursing. Methods: Qualitative exploratory study involving focus groups with nursing students from five European countries and Australia. Results: Following Expert by Experience-led teaching, participants described more positive views towards mental health nursing skills and knowledge in three main ways: learning that mental health is everywhere, becoming better practitioners, and better appreciation of mental health nursing. Conclusions: Experts by experience contribute to promoting positive attitudinal change in nursing students towards mental health nursing skills and knowledge. Attitudinal change is essential for the provision of high-quality mental health care in specialist mental health services and throughout the healthcare sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-563
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

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