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Celebrating Mental Health Nurses Day 2021

16 Feb 21

On Sunday 21 February 2021, we will be celebrating Mental Health Nurses Day. This day is to celebrate, describe and promote the profession.

This year, we are sharing stories from our mental health nurses about why they chose this career and what they enjoy about the job. Read Tara and Lauren's stories below. 

“I absolutely love being a mental health nurse because it wasn’t what I expected when I trained all those years ago. It is so much more! Being a mental health nurse is about caring, supporting and dealing with sensitive issues that require interventions that help someone deal with possible life and death situations.

It can be very rewarding when things go well and your service users feel safe, cared for and can move forward in their lives. I am very proud to be a mental health nurse and to represent the profession as a role model and I hold the profession in the highest regard.

The role can be very challenging at times, especially when ongoing situations such as COVID-19 presents risk to staff resilience. It can be a challenge having to remain calm, upbeat and positive. I have been blessed with a happy disposition which is definitely needed as a mental health nurse.

The best times are when service users and carers thrive and life situations change for the better for them with our support. I also thoroughly enjoy working with my nursing colleagues and supporting us all to do the best that we can at all times.”

Tara Gouldthorpe
Community Clinical Nurse Lead, E+N Adult Community Services

“Mental health nursing is one of the most rewarding careers. I chose this path because I want to make a difference to individuals and their families. 

Being part of an individual’s recovery journey and being able to support them and their families is an honour. I love being able to work together with an individual and their family to help them become the strongest team together when working towards recovery. Helping an individual to regain their sparkle and flourish will always be one of my favourite things about mental health nursing.”

Lauren Caruana
Registered Nursing Associate, CAMHS Eating Disorders

"I have been a Mental Health Nurse for many years with experience in care settings across both in inpatient and community services. This means that I have had lots of opportunities to develop and lead in services which have had positive outcomes for service users and carers. I also have had many opportunities to lead on different successful projects which ensure that mental health service users have equal access to care.

I am very passionate about nursing, especially MHSOP. I really enjoy looking after someone who is older as this helps me to enhance my skills and knowledge in both mental and physical health. Working in this field of nursing is definitely challenging but it is also absolutely rewarding. Being visionary, determined, enthusiastic and competitive, I also really enjoy engaging staff to share my passion and be creative in experimenting new ideas that enhance the care of an older person.

I love so many parts of the job! But what I enjoy the most is the pleasure of working alongside senior nurses and other colleagues across the Trust who share the values and my passion about nursing. I enjoy seeing and being an active part of the progression and seeing nurses develop confidence and move into different roles and be proud of being a nurse.

There are plenty of opportunities for career progression in Mental Health nursing and what is particularly exciting is how many directions you can choose from. This has been evident with many nurses I’ve worked with at HPFT. Some have decided to pursue an operational role, others have moved towards education and others became therapists. I’ve known mental health nurses become excellent managers and even some progress into audit and research and specialist nurses in procurement. It really depends what interests you and what direction you wish to progress in."

Bina Jumnoodoo
Head of Nursing, East and North SBU

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