Objective. To create a brief, experiential educational intervention for undergraduate pharmacy students aimed at developing appropriate attitudes, knowledge, and skills for the delivery of recovery-focused pharmacy services to people with mental illness, and to elicit student perceptions of the value and impact of the intervention. Methods. A brief intervention was developed in which a cohort of 44 fourth-year pharmacy students attended a psychiatric teaching hospital in groups of 10 to12. The intervention was integrated into the therapeutics module, and was based on Fink's taxonomy of learning. Delivery of the intervention included input from a multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals and the use of active-learning strategies to give students an insight into the holistic approach to care and the patient journey. Students participated in an exercise in reflective practice following the visit. Content analysis was performed on the reflective writings of consenting students to identify themes and insights gained. Results. Thirty-eight of the 44 students gave their consent for their reflective writings to be analyzed for the purpose of this research. Students expressed some apprehension before their visit to the hospital, but later gained an appreciation of the patient experience of care in the psychiatric setting. Students also described having a greater appreciation of the role of the pharmacist in caring for psychiatric patients as well as an insight into the role of other health care professionals and interventions supporting recovery. Conclusion. A brief experiential intervention helped students integrate their learning and appreciate the value of their expertise in supporting those experiencing mental illness.
Keywords: education; mental health; pharmacy; psychiatry; teaching.