Cooperative Learning: Service Improvement Leadership for Mental Health Service Users, Carers and Service Providers.

Excerpt from DCU Web Site

‘....This project is an example of innovation and partnership between DCU and the HSE in respect of mental health. The programme involves cooperative learning and uses the ‘expertise in the room’ to bring about change in the way mental health services are used by service-users, carers and service-providers. All perceptions are heard and listened to in order to bring about a new approach to mental health care’.

There are presently 9 sites within Ireland that have already taken part in a project known as Cooperative Learning: Service Improvement Leadership for Mental Health Service Users, Carers & Service Providers. This project has been going on in Dublin City University for the last five years.

This project involves a process of bringing groups of three from local mental health services together to study and work on bringing about service change in local mental health services. The groups are made up of a service user, carer/family member and a service provider.

The groups work on their projects for up to one year, attending DCU for the academic work and spending the rest of the time in their locality. The teams receive 10 ECT’s credits at level 8 (degree level) upon successful completion of the course.

This type of approach is unique in that the team of three come from the main stakeholders involved in mental health services provision. Initial evaluations of the programme indicate that both participants and services greatly benefit from engaging in this service improvement leadership programme.

27 new leaders return to their communities around Ireland with projects to improve mental health services in their local areas!

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