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Interprofessional learning issues in postgraduate mental health education


Victoria Stewart ,

Griffith University, AU
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Michelle Crozier,

Griffith University, AU
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Amanda Wheeler

Griffith University, AU
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Interprofessional care within many clinical and community mental health teams in Australia require staff to work collaboratively and outside their traditional scope. Whilst shared decision making and interprofessional collaboration are important approaches in supporting an individual’s recovery journey, working interprofessionally can create issues within teams when determining and defining ways to respond, care and support people with mental illness. The aim of this report is to examine workforce perspectives regarding an interprofessional postgraduate learning approach in mental health practice. Semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with eight mental health stakeholders. Findings indicate that practitioner learning needs are dependent on practice setting (i.e. hospital/clinical vs. community) and professional background (i.e. social work, nursing). Learning needs were related to the application of practice frameworks (therapeutic relationship, recovery and professional identity) and the workforce issues for employers (qualifications and skills). Overall interprofessional understanding and collaboration were seen as an essential requirement in ensuring an evidence based response to improve quality of life and economic and social participation for consumers. Tension between professional identities and the need for mental health practitioners to operate successfully within interprofessional contexts provides a challenge for postgraduate higher education providers.

How to Cite: Stewart, V., Crozier, M. and Wheeler, A., 2016. Interprofessional learning issues in postgraduate mental health education. Journal of Social Inclusion, 7(1), pp.98–106. DOI:
Published on 28 Jul 2016.


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