CHANGING THE FACE OF MENTAL HEALTH
Recovery Camp is an Australian first-initiative that brings together people with a lived experience of serious and enduring mental illness and interdisciplinary health students from UOW, from the fields of Nursing, Dietetics, Exercise Physiology, and Psychology.
Professor of Mental Health Nursing, and Living Well Longer Leader, Professor Lorna Moxham, says the project is helping to address the startling and sobering statistics that surround mental health in Australia: one in four people will experience a mental health issue during the course of their lives.
Now in its fourth year, Recovery Camp has been life-changing for participants, offering an environment where consumers feel supported, understood and valued, while at the same time delivering vital training for the next generation of health practitioners.
The supportive, recovery-oriented approach removes any focus on symptoms or illness, and provides consumers a safe environment in which to learn new skills to thrive and be challenged. For students, the chance to immerse themselves in the world of people with varying forms of mental illness – such as bipolar, schizophrenia, eating disorders, PTSD, anxiety and depression – broadens and deepens their learning experience.
“Mental illness affects every level of society. Recovery Camp is about learning what’s not in the textbooks,” Professor Moxham says. “It deals with real issues, fears, and dreams. It develops essential life skills not only in training to become a health practitioner but to widen our perspectives towards mental health in general.”
Team members contribute their specialised discipline expertise including Mental Health Nursing, Education, and Psychology to examine Recovery Camp efficacy. The research specifically examines effects on student learning, lived experience of carers, and importantly, quality-of-life issues for people who live with mental illness.
See how Recovery Camp is touching people's lives.
- PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
Engaged 280 students and 180 consumers
Produced 18 published papers and 17 conference presentations
Project team includes 3 PhD students
Achieved 5 national and local awards including 2 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards
Collaborating with other universities both nationally and internationally
Mental Health Nursing
Illawarra region, Australia
Shoalhaven region, Australia