Authors: Lorna Moxham, Ellie Taylor, Christopher Patterson, Susan Sumskis, Renee Brighton, Shane Pegg and Dana Perlman
Given that people with a mental illness have a range of biopsychosocial needs, care and treatment is complex and is best delivered by a multidisciplinary team. In order for future health professionals to learn skills to understand consumers from an individualised and holistic perspective, students from Nursing, Psychology, Exercise Physiology and Dietetics participated in a therapeutic Recovery Camp alongside 30 people with a mental illness. The camp aimed to envelope consumers and students within an experience of therapeutic recovery. This interdisciplinary capstone course was to achieve learning outcomes via immersion in various indoor and outdoor activities nested within a strengths-based five-day camp held in the Australian bush. Students from different disciplines learned from and educated each other. They applied skills learned in theory in what can only be described as an innovative practice setting. The setting formed a fundamental part of the therapeutic milieu and students learned that a ‘clinic’, ‘unit,’ or ‘formal setting’ isn’t the only way care and treatment can be delivered to this marginalised and vulnerable group. This paper showcases how students from various disciplines worked with and learned from people with a mental illness.
Keywords: mental illness; interdisciplinary learning; capstone; Recovery Camp; clinical placement