Recovery Camp attendees celebrating

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Recovery Camp works with universities around the country to place nursing students who are required to undertake 800 mandatory hours of clinical placement as part of their course.

Recovery Camp sees nursing students spend five days and four nights together with people with a lived experience of mental illness at an adventure bush camp.

All attendees engage in challenge-by-choice activities ranging from giant swings, rope courses, flying foxes, bush dancing and rock climbing; with more reflective activities including Tai Chi, painting, team pursuits and damper making.

Sarah-Jane Lord is their 500th nursing student and studies nursing at Charles Sturt University.

Sarah Jane reflected “nerves, anxiety and emotions would sum up my feelings regarding Recovery Camp. Arriving at the bus stop and not knowing anyone, or not even being able to differentiate between the students and consumers was when my nerves initially started to settle. This was also the first point of realisation that I was attending camp with people living with a mental illness and that mental health does not show itself through their clothes, skin colour, attitude, hair colour etc. It affects all people of all walks of life equally”.

“I felt slightly guilty and embarrassed that I initially assumed there would be some type of “barrier” or easy way I could separate ‘us’ from ‘them’.”

For me, this experience so far has helped unleash some of the stigma I have attached to people suffering from a mental illness.

Sarah-Jane said that “coming to camp has made realise that you cannot define a person just by their illness, mental health consumers are like everyone else through their courage, strength & determination”.

Learn more about iAccelerate resident company Recovery Camp here.


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