Telling Our Story: Consumer Perceptions of Their Role in Mental Health Education

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Objective:This Australian study provides insight into the meaning that former consumers involved in the education and training of mental health staff attributed to their role.Methods:Interviews were conducted with 11 consumer educators and were analysed using a qualitative phenomenological approach.Results:Five themes emerged from the interviews including: giving of self; tokenism; learned versus lived experience; voyeurism; and lack of clear expectations.Conclusions:The findings highlight the need for ongoing critical review of the way in which consumer educators are engaged in the education and training of mental health professionals.

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