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Myths and mysteries of mental health: an interagency collaboration.

Research paper by Margaret M M MM Conlon

Indexed on: 01 Feb '14Published on: 01 Feb '14Published in: Nurse Education in Practice



Abstract

This paper explores a practice learning collaboration between a group of undergraduate mental health nurses (N = 12) and second year high school pupils, (age 13/14 years old). A case study approach is employed as an example of an interagency learning activity in the undergraduate curriculum. Nursing students and high school teachers worked together to develop five three workshops. Each workshop contained five 'tabletop' group activities around themes such as confidence building; friendship skills and diet and health. The overall aim of the workshops was to provide an atypical experience for mental health nursing students in which the setting is an everyday environment (school); with young people who were not 'patients' or 'clients', and that focuses on health rather than ill health. In addition the activity aimed to broaden school pupils' understanding and knowledge of mental health and well-being.Pupils completed a closed question evaluation at the end of the workshop that demonstrated the workshops were effective in improving understanding. In addition, the nursing students presented their experience of the interagency activity at a national conference. The paper will explore the social and educational benefits of interagency learning, and concludes that further research is required to identify the significant role schools have to play in developing a nursing workforce that is prepared for care that is centred around the concept of health and well-being and that focuses on the community as the principle for setting for intervention.