Enhancing knowledge of mental health issues among children’s nursing students: evaluation of a service user-led workshop
Evidence and practice    

Enhancing knowledge of mental health issues among children’s nursing students: evaluation of a service user-led workshop

Mary Patricia Brady Senior lecturer, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, England
Jayne Price Professor of children’s nursing, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, England
Ann Ooms School director of research and professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, England
Liz Crighton Associate professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the experiences of children and young people with mental health issues, particularly those in general children’s wards

  • To identify areas for improvement in children’s nurses’ knowledge about the care of children and young people with mental health issues

  • To consider strategies for supporting children’s nursing students with caring for children and young people with mental health issues

Background Over the past 20 years, the number of children and young people with mental health issues has increased. During their clinical placements, children’s nursing students often encounter such service users, as well as mothers with mental health issues such as postnatal depression. Many of these students have reported feeling inadequately prepared to meet the needs of these service users.

Aim To evaluate a service user-led workshop to improve the knowledge and confidence of children’s nursing students in caring for children and young people with mental health issues.

Method One university in the south of England ran an interactive workshop as part of a final-year module for BSc and MSc children’s nursing students. The workshop was facilitated by service users who had experienced mental health issues. Questionnaires were administered before and after the workshop to collect data from students who attended, then quantitative and qualitative analyses of the data were conducted.

Findings This study found that children’s nursing students gained knowledge and confidence in caring for children and young people with mental health issues after attending the workshop. Four themes were identified from the pre-questionnaire data: fear and anxiety; boundaries; mixed experiences; and learning on the job. The themes of boundaries and learning on the job were identified again in the post-questionnaire data, as well as the additional themes of ‘being with, rather than doing’ and ‘further knowledge’.

Conclusion Service user involvement is an essential aspect of nurse education due to its positive and motivating effects on students. Future research could explore the optimal type of service user input required at different stages of nurse education, to ensure that it enhances the development of students’ knowledge and confidence.

Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2021.e1383

Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

m.brady@sgul.kingston.ac.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Brady MP, Price J, Ooms A et al (2021) Enhancing knowledge of mental health issues among children’s nursing students: evaluation of a service user-led workshop. Nursing Children and Young People. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2021.e1383

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all the children’s nursing students who participated in this study. They would also like to thank the Rights and Participation Team for children and young people’s mental health services and SEND Youth Advisors Surrey, who facilitated the workshop

Published online: 19 October 2021

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