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Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2002 Summer;26(1):63-9.

Introducing structured dialogue with people with mental illness into the training of social work students.

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  • 1B.S.W. program, Paul Baerwald School of Social Work, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel.


This paper presents the findings from an innovative project in which people with mental illness were incorporated in the classroom setting of social work students in Israel. This project was based on a model that was defined as "Structured Dialogue." Its objective was to create opportunities for students to relate to persons with mental illness in a less stigmatic and more hopeful way. One hundred and eighty five students participated in this evaluation that was conducted in fifteen social work classes. The findings indicate the potential of the Structured Dialogue model to eliminate the one-dimensional representation of people with mental illness and change preexisting stereotypes and stigma with which the students came to the meetings. Implications for training future mental health professionals are discussed.

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