Title

Consumer Staff and the Role of Personal Experience in Mental Health Services

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Publication Title

Social Work in Mental Health

Abstract

The unique contributions of consumer staff are increasingly being recognized in mental health settings. However, little attention has been given to these workers’ use of personal experience, a key qualification for these positions. Through fieldwork and semi-structured interviews with consumer and non-consumer staff, we explore what personal experience means, how it is used, and how and when it is disclosed. Our findings indicate a lack of training in applying these skills and tension over “professionalism.” Without attention to these issues, organizations using consumer staff may fail to fully realize their contributions while causing increased stress for consumer staff.

Original Citation

Paul Colson & Linda Francis. (2009). Consumer Staff and the Role of Personal Experience in Mental Health Services. Social Work in Mental Health, 7(4), 385-401, doi: 10.1080/15332980802237735

DOI

10.1080/15332980802237735

Volume

7

Issue

4