Storytelling and the Psychiatrist

D Backman-Hoyle, M O'Hagan, Sharon Lawn

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: The Community Collaboration Committee (CCC) is the main way the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) partners with people with lived experience of mental illness (consumers) and carers.
The CCC is made up of six RANZCP fellows (psychiatrists) and eight community members: two carers and two consumers from Australia, and two carers and two consumers from New Zealand. The CCC meets regularly throughout the year. The purpose of the CCC is to ensure that the RANZCP considers the needs, values and views of the community. This symposium addresses a key issue for
the community: the ability to safely tell their story to a psychiatrist.
Objectives: To highlight barriers to psychiatrists hearing consumers’ stories, describe successful strategies that promote effective communication by consumers and carers, and promote discussion regarding how such strategies may be utilized more widely.
Methods: Presentation of three different models that promote communication of consumers’ stories in the context of the obstacles to communication that they overcome and the benefits that the community experiences from the use of the models.
Findings: Despite their expertise, psychiatrists face significant obstacles to establishing relationships with consumers in which the consumer feels safe in communicating sometimes crucial information; and the ‘right’ communication occurs with carers. The initiatives described in this symposium offer assistance in this difficult area.
Conclusions: A persons’ story is at the heart of recoveryoriented psychiatric practice. This symposium aims to highlight new initiatives that support hearing this story and better outcomes for people with experience of mental illness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62
Number of pages1
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventRANZCP 2017 Congress, Speaking our minds. Telling our stories -
Duration: 30 Apr 2017 → …


  • mental health consumers
  • mental health clinicians
  • Mental health care
  • physician-patient communication


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