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Celebrating Mental Heath Nurses Day 2021

Sunday 21 February marks the third annual ‘Mental Health Nurses Day’ – an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and importance of Mental Health Nursing, and share stories and experiences to raise awareness of this profession throughout the UK and beyond. 

To mark the occasion, we asked some of the highly experienced and skilled Mental Health Nurses working in our Trust to share what they value most about their role – read their thoughts below:

“I am a Clinical Advisor at the National Workforce Skills Development Unit based here at the Tavistock. I find the role super interesting and greatly value the opportunity to contribute to the development of the national mental health workforce. Our projects aim to improve both the service user and staff experience – two things I’m truly passionate about. I also feel really lucky to be able to meet and work with nursing professionals and experts by experience across the country; I am always learning from them!”


“I am a Specialist Clinical Focused Practitioner in the Add Wellbeing Team, and a Mental Health Nurse by professional background. What I value most about my role is the opportunity to learn from, and work alongside, our clients – thinking collectively, about a collective problem, such as the pandemic, and working creatively through a ‘whole systems’ approach, in order to offer supportive interventions at this challenging time.”


“I am an Associate Director of Nursing. I value the range of roles and experience my nursing registration has given me. I feel privileged to work with patients and staff with such rich experience and knowledge and I continue to learn and develop every day. I’m not sure there are many jobs that can say that and I feel lucky to be a mental health nurse.”


“I am a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Tavistock, working in the Gender Identity Development Service. There are many things I value about being fortunate enough to work in such a challenging and stimulating role. Above all else though, I feel really privileged to have the opportunity to work with children, young people and families using all of the complex therapeutic, engagement and assessment skills that many years working as a mental health nurse have given me.”


“I am Nurse Psychotherapist in the City and Hackney Consultation service, a service that takes psychotherapy to the patient in GP practices. I love the fact that it’s an innovative service which aims to remove stigma from mental health and see the individual and their stories. Coming from a Therapeutic community training, I love that it is both traditional in the sense that we think about the patient in a psychoanalytical sense, but working in very psychodynamic manner, which permits us to work alongside the patient.”


“I am a Clinical Service Manager, Systemic and Family Psychotherapist, CBT Therapist and Mental Health Nurse working in South Camden Community Team within the Tavistock. I most value about my role the opportunity to bring multiple theoretical ideas to my clinical work and managerial role also. I value the containing support that the nursing discipline offers which I feel is held within the Tavistock.”


“I am the Associate Director for Quality and Governance within the Quality Directorate, with responsibility for providing leadership, professional support, advice and supervision for delivering the Quality Strategy across the trust. This includes a number of diverse areas including compliance with contract quality requirements, CQC, internal quality developments, risk management and legal services. As a registered nurse and midwife, one of the things I value most about my role is the opportunity to combine my background knowledge of clinical safety and effective practice with an enquiring mind in order to support staff, and the trust to deliver the best quality services they can.”


“I am a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Tavistock, working in the Gender identity development service in the Birmingham outreach team. One of the things I most value about my role is the ability to network with my Nursing Colleagues across the different teams in the Tavi and learn from their expertise and practice.”


“I am a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Lead for Gloucester House Outreach Service. This is an integrated education and CAMHS service. My role is diverse, offering training, consultation and specialist assessment for young people with complex SEMH difficulties. I enjoy facilitating reflective practice spaces for staff. I value being a nurse and delivering compassionate holistic care.”


“I am a Specialist Community Nurse and CYP IAPT Systemic Family Practitioner at the Tavistock Centre. One of the aspects of my job that I really value is having the opportunity to use my experience and skills alongside clinicians from different professional backgrounds, to develop an intervention that will support and benefit young people and their families.” 


“I am a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Gender Identity Clinic in London. As part of a multidisciplinary team I contribute to the care pathway of transgender, non-binary and gender diverse patients, primarily by assessing and reviewing patients in clinic, coordinating care and liaising with GPs to monitor and manage hormone therapy. It is a dynamic role and requires a holistic approach, and partnership working. I enjoy working with, and advocating for, this patient group.”


“I am Lead Nurse for a CAMHS Early Intervention in Psychosis Service. I work with teenagers and young adults who are experiencing symptoms of psychosis for the first time. We work with our service-users for 3 years and I value being able to develop meaningful therapeutic relationships, and support young people as their needs and goals change and evolve over time.”


“Last summer 2020, I retired, after 40 years’ service, from my permanent fulltime NHS CAMHS post. Within a few weeks of leaving this post, I began working as a Bank nurse for the Trust. I now work with primary and secondary schools as a CAMHS clinician, advising teaching staff and meeting young people and their parents. I very much enjoy this work, which is very varied and allows me to develop my clinical skills. The work is particularly poignant, at this time of the pandemic, and the mental crisis facing children and young people.”