The Meaning of Higher Education for People Diagnosed with a Mental Illness: Four Students Share Their Experiences


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Abstract

In this qualitative study, four participants diagnosed with a mental illness were interviewed to explore their experiences while attending a post-secondary school. Each participant described how education helped them to find a sense of purpose in their lives. Education is also described as a means of transition from the patient role to other roles such as student or worker. However, the symptoms and stigma associated with their mental illness has created additional challenges for them while in a school setting. Supportive professors and counselors were viewed as helpful in overcoming these barriers.

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