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Patterson, Christopher F. Mr

Lecturer

  • Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health
  • School of Nursing
  • Co-founder, co-director - Recovery Camp

Overview


Christopher Patterson is a Lecturer within the School of Nursing, and a registered nurse, with specialist qualifications in mental health. In 2019, Christopher was awarded Nurse of the Year at the Australian Healthcare Week Awards.

Christopher is an active researcher, with research interests that include teaching and learning within the nursing workforce, mental health stigma and improving the health of people with lived experience of mental illness.

In addition to his research, Christopher is also the co-founder/co-director of the award winning initiative, Recovery Camp. Christopher is wholly committed to making a difference in the lives of people who are living with mental illness, as well as assisting future nursing professionals develop recovery-oriented skills.

Top Publications


Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>Mental illness is a significant burden, impacting individuals (1:4), communities and the health system at large. This project began in 2013 to provide an intervention which seeks to support people with lived experiences of mental illness, while simultaneously educating future health professionals about mental illness. Taking place in a ‘non-traditional’ recovery setting, Recovery Camp brings together people with lived experiences of mental illness (AKA: experts by experience), health students and health professionals to spend 5 days and 4 nights participating in recovery-oriented activities, which are based upon the principles of therapeutic recreation (TR). TR is a process of immersing an individual or group using unique settings and challenging activities to enhance student learning, health and wellness and quality of life <a href="https://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/4159/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Moxham et al., 2016)</a>. The activities embedded within the Recovery Camp program are challenge by choice and become a catalyst for people to connect with and support others and enhance their strengths<a href="https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5445&context=smhpapers" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> (Moxham et al., 2017)</a>.  The Recovery Camp program is experiential and immersive. People have described it as "life changing". <br /><br />Recovery Camp's approach represents one of equality, respect and connectedness; all camp attendees are contributing in equal measure to the experience, ensuring it is positive for all.  Students learn things they can't learn from books, people with mental illness demonstrate increases in confidence, autonomy and locus of control and carers get a weeks respite. Even clinical facilitators who are responsible for student clinical portfolios whilst at camp, have identified Recovery Camp as a positive means of engaging with students whilst simultaneously being supportive to people with mental illness. All participants are treated with unconditional positive regard with significant impact on all who attend. </p>
  • <p>General practice nurses (GPN) have a key front line role to play in providing integrated healthcare. It was identified that many GPN encounter people with mental health issues in their daily practice, however, the role of a general nurse in mental health was unclear. Providing role clarity by defining the GPNs scope of practice is a powerful tool to reduce role confusion and ambiguity, and optimize GPNs role in improving service delivery to patients. A team of primary care and mental health nurse academics from UOW was funded by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, through the Department of Health, to develop mental health practice standards for GPNs. <br />In addition to communicating the role that general nurses can play in mental health within primary care to others, including General Practitioners, policy makers and other health professionals, the Standards provide an important framework for GPNs to assess their individual learning needs in terms of their knowledge and confidence to undertake the identified aspects of the nurses' role. The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses used the Standards to develop CPD eLearning modules and workshops specifically for primary care nurses. These professional development opportunities are targeted to build capacity in areas of practice that have been identified by the Standards as being appropriate for a general nurse in the primary care setting. Each activity empowers GPNs to develop knowledge, skills and confidence about mental health and incorporate these into their day-to-day practice. This has the potential to improve health outcomes as GPNs are empowered to intervene positively when people present to general practice with mental health issues.</p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy A Phenomenological Examination of the Experiences of People Living with Mental Illness Whilst Participating in Therapeutic Recreation Picton, Caroline
    Doctor of Philosophy Examination of Clinical Placement Quality using Self-Determination Theory Cregan, Anita
    Doctor of Philosophy Collaborating With Consumers, Carers and Clinicians to Identify Categories of Mental Health Risk Assessment. Aquin, Edward

Full Name


  • Christopher F. Patterson

Mailing Address


  • Building 41 - School of Nursing, UOW

    Northfields Avenue

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Australia

Top Publications


Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>Mental illness is a significant burden, impacting individuals (1:4), communities and the health system at large. This project began in 2013 to provide an intervention which seeks to support people with lived experiences of mental illness, while simultaneously educating future health professionals about mental illness. Taking place in a ‘non-traditional’ recovery setting, Recovery Camp brings together people with lived experiences of mental illness (AKA: experts by experience), health students and health professionals to spend 5 days and 4 nights participating in recovery-oriented activities, which are based upon the principles of therapeutic recreation (TR). TR is a process of immersing an individual or group using unique settings and challenging activities to enhance student learning, health and wellness and quality of life <a href="https://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/4159/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">(Moxham et al., 2016)</a>. The activities embedded within the Recovery Camp program are challenge by choice and become a catalyst for people to connect with and support others and enhance their strengths<a href="https://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5445&context=smhpapers" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> (Moxham et al., 2017)</a>.  The Recovery Camp program is experiential and immersive. People have described it as "life changing". <br /><br />Recovery Camp's approach represents one of equality, respect and connectedness; all camp attendees are contributing in equal measure to the experience, ensuring it is positive for all.  Students learn things they can't learn from books, people with mental illness demonstrate increases in confidence, autonomy and locus of control and carers get a weeks respite. Even clinical facilitators who are responsible for student clinical portfolios whilst at camp, have identified Recovery Camp as a positive means of engaging with students whilst simultaneously being supportive to people with mental illness. All participants are treated with unconditional positive regard with significant impact on all who attend. </p>
  • <p>General practice nurses (GPN) have a key front line role to play in providing integrated healthcare. It was identified that many GPN encounter people with mental health issues in their daily practice, however, the role of a general nurse in mental health was unclear. Providing role clarity by defining the GPNs scope of practice is a powerful tool to reduce role confusion and ambiguity, and optimize GPNs role in improving service delivery to patients. A team of primary care and mental health nurse academics from UOW was funded by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, through the Department of Health, to develop mental health practice standards for GPNs. <br />In addition to communicating the role that general nurses can play in mental health within primary care to others, including General Practitioners, policy makers and other health professionals, the Standards provide an important framework for GPNs to assess their individual learning needs in terms of their knowledge and confidence to undertake the identified aspects of the nurses' role. The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses used the Standards to develop CPD eLearning modules and workshops specifically for primary care nurses. These professional development opportunities are targeted to build capacity in areas of practice that have been identified by the Standards as being appropriate for a general nurse in the primary care setting. Each activity empowers GPNs to develop knowledge, skills and confidence about mental health and incorporate these into their day-to-day practice. This has the potential to improve health outcomes as GPNs are empowered to intervene positively when people present to general practice with mental health issues.</p>

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy A Phenomenological Examination of the Experiences of People Living with Mental Illness Whilst Participating in Therapeutic Recreation Picton, Caroline
    Doctor of Philosophy Examination of Clinical Placement Quality using Self-Determination Theory Cregan, Anita
    Doctor of Philosophy Collaborating With Consumers, Carers and Clinicians to Identify Categories of Mental Health Risk Assessment. Aquin, Edward

Full Name


  • Christopher F. Patterson

Mailing Address


  • Building 41 - School of Nursing, UOW

    Northfields Avenue

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Australia

Geographic Focus