Section Three

Engaging Lived Experience

Nursing faculty should integrate persons and families with lived experience or support groups in theoretical and clinical education to understand how to meaningfully engage with these persons and their families. Lived-experience involvement has an important role to play in the education of nurses in addressing fear and demystifying the experience of mental illness (Happell, Gaskin & Byrne, 2015).

For more information, see Appendix H, which aims to support faculty in integrating lived experience.

Teaching and Learning Activities

See Teaching and Learning Activities in Section Four: Student Reflective Practice and Self-Care in Mental Health Nursing Education.

Learner Engagement Questions

The following are thought-provoking and engaging learner questions that can be used to understand and promote the importance of reflective practice and self-care for both the faculty and student. These questions can be used either to stimulate discussion with colleagues or in reflection exercises.

  • What are my beliefs, ideas and experiences regarding mental health and mental illness?
  • What specific challenges am I facing in nursing studies and practice?
  • What are my strengths?
  • What areas of practice do I feel most confident in? Least confident in?
  • What are my learning needs and goals?
  • What would be most helpful to me at this time/in this situation?

Evaluation and Self-reflection

  • Faculty will engage in self-reflection on an a regular basis.
  • Faculty will integrate student feedback into their practice – be open to it and seek it.


This guide contains an Educator Self-Assessment Tool for faculty to evaluate their knowledge and skills regarding mental health, illness and addiction in nursing education and practice. Faculty may also wish to consider the Learner Engagement Questions (on this page) upon completing the tool.



  • Harris, M. (2008). Scaffolding reflective journal writing -- negotiating power, play and position. Nurse Education Today, 28(3), 314–326.
  • McMillan-Coddington, D. (2013). Reflection through journal writing to educateregistered nursing students on patient care. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 8(2),63–67.
  • Usher, K., Tollefson, J., & Francis, D. (2001). Moving from technical to critical reflection in journaling: An investigation of students’ ability to incorporate three levels of reflective writing. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing,19(1), 15–19.





  • Crosby, S.D. (2015). An Ecological Perspective on Emerging Trauma-Informed Teaching Practices. Children & Schools, 37(4), 220-230.
  • Carello, J., & Butler, L. D. (2015) Practicing what we teach: Trauma-informed educational practice. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 35(3), 262–278,.
  • Elliot, D., & Guy, J., (1993). Mental health professionals versus non-mental-health professionals: Childhood trauma and adult functioning. Professional psychology: Research and Practice, 24(1), 83–90.