Common experiences of mental health nurses and consumers: Ingredients of a symbiotic relationship?
Examination of the history of consumers and mental health nurses reveals that both consumers and mental health nurses have much in common in terms of their powerlessness and their sense of being undervalued. This paper argues that their common problems have a shared solution. It is in the interest of both groups to develop a symbiotic relationship, with each other benefiting by achieving greater influence over the delivery of care. The development of a close alliance requires a change in perception and behaviour towards each other. This paper identifies some of the factors militating against developing a symbiotic relationship and suggests possible ways of addressing them.