DOI: 10.1111/jpm.13031 ISSN: 1351-0126

Embedding the service user voice to co‐produce UK mental health nurse education—A lived experience narrative

Sam O'Brien, Caroline Davenport
  • Pshychiatric Mental Health

Accessible Summary

What is known on the subject?

Co‐production aims to value service user voices and is increasingly used in healthcare.

Less is known about how co‐production in nursing education is experienced by service users.

What the paper adds to existing knowledge?

This paper shares the experience of one service user who teaches student nurses in a UK university.

For the first author, the paper highlights that co‐producing nurse education has been valuable and rewarding for both a service user and students.

What are the implications for practice?

Co‐production has the potential to benefit student nurses, including challenging their perceptions of ‘difficult’ patients. To achieve this, teaching sessions must be equally produced and delivered. By employing and including service users, universities have the potential to improve experiences for students and service users alike.



Co‐production is increasingly used in health care but there is less attention to a co‐produced mental health nurse education.


This article sought to explore the co‐production experiences of a service user who teaches mental health nurses, alongside the benefits of this to nurse education.


The article is a lived experience narrative co‐written with a nursing lecturer.


Co‐produced mental health nurse education challenges students' perceptions towards self‐harm and encourages empathy and understanding of service user distress.

Implications for Practice

Co‐production has many benefits to nurse education including a positive student experience, and validation of the service user experience to support meaningful recovery.

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