Recent policy initiatives e.g. The Health Care Commission (2005) have promoted the idea that services should be developed in collaboration with the service users, to meet the needs of those using them, to improve health and health care for everyone. Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health (2006) further supported this and pointed out that some aspects of the mental health services should take direction from the service users. Based on the principle that if service delivery is characterised by an ethos of collaboration, then such collaboration must also be the bedrock of mental health education (Tew et al 2004). This paper purports that by virtue of the service user’s experience of mental distress and service provision, they offer valuable knowledge and expertise to enrich the Mental Health nursing\ud students learning experience collaboratively. This paper considers a historical perspective of the issues, shares some positive examples of good\ud practice around involvement and inclusion considering the conflicting tensions that became complementary and how this helped, in developing\ud an enriching learning experience
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