21 February 2019

Mental health nurses provide the backbone of support, says Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust

On the first ever Mental Health Nurses Day, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust is saying thank you to all its mental health nurses, who provide the backbone of support to our service users. The Trust is also encouraging people to consider a career in mental health nursing.

Founded by the Royal College of Nursing's Mental Health Forum, Thursday 21 February marks the first ever Mental Health Nurses Day. It aims to celebrate the work of mental health nurses and to promote working in mental health as a career choice.

AWP employs over 1,200 mental health nurses to who work in a variety of roles and settings.

AWP's Director of Nursing, Julie Kerry, said: "Day in, day out, our nurses are providing vital support to some of the most vulnerable in our community. Much of their work goes unseen and unheard, but everyday their dedication and commitment is supporting people to live their best life.

"There are so many good things about being a mental health nurse. It's a demanding, but extremely rewarding role, promoting and supporting service users' recovery and enabling them to have more involvement and control over their condition. Within AWP our nurses work with children and young people, older adults, those in secure services, those going through the Ministry of Justice process, inpatients and out in the community delivering care in hospitals, clinics and in people's homes."

Celebrating some of our staff:

Jane Palmer, Mental Health Nurse, Swindon

Jane Palmer started work as a mental health nurse in 1974 at the Roundway Hospital in Devizes. After completing her training Jane went to work in Swindon, initially at Stratton Hospital on an elderly care ward, before moving to Seymour Clinic, and then on to a community-based role.

After several years, during which the team moved to the Old Victoria Hospital, Jane moved to work in a new team in Marlborough and then on to Devizes. She retired from full-time work in 2013 but returned to work part time in Chippenham before taking up her current role in the Primary Care Liaison Service (PCLS) team in Swindon as a specialist nurse in older adults care.

Speaking about her career, Jane said: "Over the 44 years I have worked in mental health I have seen many changes to the care provided to our service users. There is a great deal of work being done to ensure people with mental health issues get the care they need, when and where they need it. Much more support is provided in the community now and it's so rewarding to be able to improve the quality of people's lives."

Katy Brown, Mental Health Nurse, Salisbury

Katy Brown, who is a staff nurse at Fountain Way Hospital in Salisbury, said: "I had never worked in health care before but while I was being supported as a carer by the Early Intervention (EI) Team I thought it might be something I would like to do. I applied to be a Health Care Assistant (HCA) in 2014 and one of the nurses suggested I should do my nurses training. I applied for the access to Higher Education Course and continued to work while studying. I then began my course at Bournemouth University while continuing to work. It was great to have the support of the staff on the ward who could provide assistance and guidance on course work and other areas of my studies. I often used the experience from being an HCA and applied it to my studies."

Kevin Stott, Mental Health Nurse, Blackberry Hill Hospital, Bristol

Kevin Stott qualified as a mental health nurse in 2001 and worked in London before joining AWP's Recovery Team in Bristol as a specialist recovery practitioner. Kevin is also a named professional for Adult Safeguarding.

Kevin said: "After experiencing a physical illness in 1997, requiring months of follow up treatment, I was so impressed with my nurse's approach to my recovery that I resolved that I wanted to apply my interest in a similar way to impact other people's recovery, as he had mine. I started my training the following year.

"The best part of my role is the sheer variety of what every day will bring and the opportunities to hear others' stories, trying to problem solve as a team and using your knowledge, experience and humanity to assist the recovery of service users."

Click on each profile below to find out more about our nurses and their journey.

 Eric IconJulie Icon

Katy IconJane Icon

Janebolster IconLisa Icon

Kevin IconMathew Icon

To find out more about working for AWP, visit http://jobs.awp.nhs.uk


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