dc: Danny, you have been a champion of 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 joining a course. Prior to that I had heard lots of good things about it and read up on ideas around it. But it wasn’t until I actually experienced it, that I understood what it was really all about. What stuck out for me was that it’s really an innovative way of understanding and learning about mental health. I hadn’t previously experienced anything like it in my training or learning. It was new and exciting but also a space that brought out a lot of rich discussion and learning. I think that’s a massive highlight that drew me to discovery college.
dc: You have been a student and a facilitator in our course, ‘In Someone Else’s Shoes’. What do you think people might take away from this course?
Danny: I think it’s a course where anyone would have something to contribute. It’s about getting different perspectives and 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 and 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 and training delivered with different ways of learning. I have had some wonderful teaching and been exposed to some great learning, but there is something rich and meaningful about the actual nature of this style of learning that really stood out compared to other learning environments I’ve 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 of their mental health service, rather than towards the end of their journey. 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 and shift the trajectory for someone’s lived experience or professional journey.
dc: So, if you could explain a course in 3 words, what would they be?
Danny: One is experience – learning through experience.
Two is sharing – a sharing of stories, ideas, and experiences
Last word is hope – a sense of being encouraged to share learning and ideas while inadvertently hoping for some forward movement in mental health.
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