Addressing Nursing Students' Stigmatizing Beliefs Toward Mental Illness
Implementing teaching methods that address nursing students' stigmatizing beliefs toward people with mental illness is important for nurse educators. The purpose of this article is to describe how a creative reflective learning project was used to encourage nursing students to express feelings about working with clients with mental illness, address stigma, and facilitate development of empathy. While working with a client with mental illness over a 4-week period, students maintained a reflective journal exploring their assumptions about mental illness. In addition, students created an individual project to depict their understanding of what it was like for their client to live with a mental illness. Examples of students' reflections and descriptions of their projects are presented to demonstrate how this experience affected students' views of mental illness.