Co-producing Psychiatric Education with Service User Educators: a Collective Autobiographical Case Study of the Meaning, Ethics, and Importance of Payment

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Sophie Soklaridis, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • ,
  • Alise de Bie, McMaster University
  • ,
  • Rachel Beth Cooper, University Toronto
  • ,
  • Kim McCullough, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • ,
  • Brenda McGovern
  • ,
  • Michaela Beder, University Toronto, Unity Health Toronto
  • ,
  • Gail Bellisimo
  • ,
  • Tucker Gordon, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • ,
  • Suze Berkhout, University Toronto
  • ,
  • Mark Fefergrad, University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • ,
  • Andrew Johnson, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • ,
  • Csilla Kalocsai, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • ,
  • Sean Kidd, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • ,
  • Nancy McNaughton, University Health Network
  • ,
  • Charlotte Ringsted
  • ,
  • David Wiljer, University Health Network
  • ,
  • Sacha Agrawal, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Objective: Co-production involves service providers and service users collaborating to design and deliver services together and is gaining attention as a means to improve provision of care. Aiming to extend this model to an educational context, the authors assembled a diverse group to develop co-produced education for psychiatry residents and medical students at the University of Toronto over several years. The authors describe the dynamics involved in co-producing psychiatric education as experienced in their work. Methods: A collaborative autobiographical case study approach provides a snapshot of the collective experiences of working to write a manuscript about paying service users for their contributions to co-produced education. Data were collected from two in-person meetings, personal communications, emails, and online comments to capture the fullest possible range of perspectives from the group about payment. Results: The juxtaposition of the vision for an inclusive process against the budgetary constraints that the authors faced led them to reflect deeply on the many meanings of paying service user educators for their contributions to academic initiatives. These reflections revealed that payment had implications at personal, organizational, and social levels. Conclusion: Paying mental health service user educators for their contributions is an ethical imperative for the authors. However, unless payment is accompanied by other forms of demonstrating respect, it aligns with organizational structures and practices, and it is connected to a larger goal of achieving social justice, the role of service users as legitimate knowers and educators and ultimately their impact on learners will be limited.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Volume44
Issue2
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
ISSN1042-9670
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Co-production, Mental health education, Payment, Qualitative research, Service user educator

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