Research shows that including service users in the design and delivery of mental health services can improve quality of care and help catalyze positive systems-level cultural change. While the involvement of service users in clinical services is gaining momentum in the USA in the form of peer support, service user (peer) involvement in the design and delivery of psychiatric training programs and other mental health professional training programs is rare.
In this session, you will learn about the rationale for involving services users as educators in mental health professional training and provide an example: the Peer Advisor program of the Public Psychiatry Fellowship at Columbia/New York State Psychiatric Institute. Speakers include the program directors, a peer who has been involved for many years in the program, and a psychiatrist who experienced this model as a trainee.
Our experiences suggest that re-positioning service users as educators of the next generation of mental health service providers can help us teach and learn how clinicians can truly partner with service users, leading to a professional workforce that can deliver safer, more effective, patient-centered care.