Following feedback from previous cohorts of students about the challenges of obtaining learning opportunities focused on a range of practical skills. The course team developed the skills workshops to ensure consistency of availability of opportunity. Alongside this, the opportunity to undertake live applications and report compilation based on real cases was felt to benefit students prior to their practice experience.
Feedback from students on the skills workshops has been excellent. They continually score well on the module evaluations and are often cited as one of the three most positive aspects of the programme alongside the variety of input from across the professions involved in mental health and the use of role plays to illustrate process using relevant professionals.
The main obstacle encountered is in encouraging MHOs currently in practice to participate in the skills workshop. This is not due to a lack of willingness rather lack of time due to the demands of the job. The preparation provided by the practice learning co-ordinator to the MHOs is also significant and having to do this every year with a new group is time consuming. However, the course team remain committed to this model due to the clear benefit to students.