dc: Danny, you have been a champion for discovery college from the very beginning, from your perspective, what value do you see in it?
Danny: I think that firstly, I can speak to my experience of joining a course. Prior to that I had heard lots of good things about it & read up on ideas around it but it wasn’t until I actually experienced it, that I understood what it was really was about. What stuck out for me was that it is really an innovative way of understanding & learning about mental health & I hadn’t previously experienced anything like it in my training or learning. It was new & exciting but it was also a space that brought out a lot of rich learning. I think that is a massive highlight that drew me to discovery college.
dc: You have been a student & a facilitiator in our course, In Someone Else’s Shoes. What do you think people might take away from this course?
danny: I think it is a course where anyone would have something to contribute because it is about getting different perspectives & understanding mental health from as many different perspectives as possible rather than being told or taught something in the didactic sort of way. It really fits in with my own ideas of exploring things from a lot of different angles to help shape our understanding & also how we make sense of it in relation to our own lives.
dc: As a professional, does it impact or shift anything in your work?
Danny: Yes, for sure. I have attended a lot of courses in my career & training delivered with different ways of learning & I have had some wonderful teaching & been exposed to some great learning but there is something rich & meaningful about the actual nature of this style of learning that really stood out compared to other learning environments I have been in. In my actual day to day clinical work, sometimes I wish more people would have attended a course like this right at the start, rather than towards the end of their journey through a mental health service. Sometimes, the start of a journey can be quite confusing & perhaps it is through that journey that people gain perspective but equally I wonder how a course at discovery college could be helpful & shift the trajectory for someone’s lived or professional journey.
dc: So, if you could explain a course in 3 words, what would they be?
One is experience – this is learning through experience.
Two is sharing – a sharing of stories, of ideas & of experiences
Last word is hope – a sense of being encouraged to share learning & ideas & inadvertently hope for moving forward in mental health.