#HMyNameIs a healthcare professional with mental health issues. #MyNameIs mental illness.
My new campaign is all about healthcare professionals who experience mental health issues. To kick off the campaign I have asked other health care professionals to write about their experiences as guest posts.
I am a Childrens Mental Health Nurse
My favourite animals are Cats and Pandas
I live in Hampshire
Do you think there was enough support when studying your qualification for those who were experiencing mental health issues?
I don’t know about other people but my university were very supportive of me when I had to take a few weeks off as a result of my mental health. I was offered to retake an exam if I didn’t get the grade predicted and I was under no pressure to come back before I was ready to. Occupational health signed me off nights as they impact my mental health so much, and I also had the option to seek support from student services but chose not to as I had support from mental health services outside of uni.
Did studying your course affect your mental health, if so, how?
Yes but through no fault of the university. I am a huge perfectionist and put enormous amounts of pressure on myself, which definitely did have a negative effect on my mental health.
Do you/did you feel comfortable talking to your colleagues/lecturers/mentors about your mental health?
I do now! I didn’t used to but I’ve learnt over the last few years how important it is, so now I’m really open.
Have you felt that being a healthcare professional has stopped you from seeking help for your mental health issue?
Yes. Although I am open with people around me, the fear of running into any of my current or past patients has definitely stopped me engaging in treatment before and also means I have to attend a service out of area.
What more needs to be done (if anything) for healthcare students/professionals suffering with mental health issues?
There needs to be a better culture of being open, especially in mental health services. We are often our own worst enemy as a profession and we need to be better at sharing and listening.
Any advice for current students/qualified professionals who are struggling?
Be honest. People can’t help you if they don’t know, and in my experience things have been so much easier for me once I’ve shared because it means I’ve been able to get the support I’ve needed.
I hope you all enjoyed this insightful post. If anyone reading this needs support below are some helplines and websites. Thank you for reading and a massive thank you to contributors of this series.
Look after yourself,
The Mix (up to 25)-020 7009 2500
Papyrus-0800 068 41 41