Undergraduate Mental Health Nursing Students’ Perspectives On Consumer-Led Programs

The 2017 Conference will be held at the Conference Centre, Sea World Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland from Monday 21 August – Wednesday 23 August 2017.

Yue On Ho, RNP, Psychiatric Rehabilitation Department at Kwai Chung Hospital in Hong Kong joins us to discuss “Undergraduate mental health nursing students’ perspectives on consumer-led programs”.

There is increasing emphasis on the development and implementation of recovery oriented practice in mental health service in Hong Kong in recent years. In this trend, the roles of consumer are shifting from passive recipients to active participants. Creating consumer-led programs that include advocacy, peer counselling, and mentoring, are viewed as essential components of the transformation of mental health services to a recovery orientation.

An evaluation study that investigated the undergraduate mental health nursing students’ perspectives on consumer-led programs was conducted. Through interviews with the student nurses who first joined the consumer-led programs, four key themes were identified as follows:

Theme 1: The recovery environment played an integral role on supporting consumers’ level of recovery

Participants said:

“There are many opportunities for consumers to develop their strengths and self-value”

“Home –like environment is important to support the recovery process”

Theme 2: Interpersonal contact was an effective way to reduce prejudice on mentally ill symptoms

Participants said:

“More contact to consumers, I can understand them more. I think they are normal, not terrible!”

“I feel fearful on the positive symptoms previously, but after talking to them, I feel better.”

Theme 3: Appreciation of consumers’ abilities

Participants said:

“I appreciate their ability, especially in Zentangle drawing”

“They are not weak, they are energetic!”

Theme 4: Nursing students pursued nursing role to be equal, respectful and with positive attitude in the future

Participants said:

“Nurses should act as supporters!”

“Nurses are not playing as a superior role. Equal stand is important”

The findings indicate that undergraduate nursing students respond positively to the consumer participation. They gain greater insight into consumer as people, rather than only as recipients of mental health services.

Therefore, consumer participation brings new trend of the nursing education. It is not merely building up meaningful therapeutic collaboration, but also an important approach for the longer term relationship building capacity of mental health nurses.

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