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Reflection without shame - reflection without blame : towards a more collaborative understanding between mental health consumers and nurses
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by C Roper, Brenda Happell
It is now a clear policy expectation that consumers of mental health services be given the opportunity to be active participants in all aspects of mental health service development and delivery. Psychiatric nurses have an important role to play in ensuring opportunities for genuine participation; however, the literature suggests that this role is not always realized in practice. Negative attitudes of health professionals (including nurses) to consumer has been identified as a significant barrier to the realization of this policy goal, with education and training recognized as an important strategy for developing more positive attitudes. This paper describes the implementation of a mental health consumer academic position, through the personal reflections of a nurse academic and a consumer academic. More specifically, the paper addresses the reactions of some nurses to the work of the consumer academic and the apparent feeling of being attacked as nurses. By recognizing this defensiveness, nurses and other health professionals may more effectively move towards promoting consumer participation in mental health care.