Sixth form students from a nearby secondary school recently took part in a two-day career and participation initiative led by Camden Mental Health Support Team (MHST) at the Tavistock Centre.
The students, all A-Level students either studying psychology or with an interest in pursuing the subject as a career in the future, spent time hearing from clinicians and other staff regarding the various career paths and progression opportunities there are in the NHS and psychology.
Led by Sarah Relton, Child, Adolescent and Educational Psychologist, MHST, and members of our patient and public involvement team, the students also had the opportunity to take part in sessions exploring our values, and providing feedback on a project to improve our website.
Following the session, one of the students who took part said “it was really nice having people listening to our opinions”.
The two-day initiative is part of a longer-term plan to provide more work experience and insights into careers at the Tavistock and Portman for young people. These opportunities provide young people the experience to include in their university applications and help break down the barriers of entering the often highly competitive field of psychology.
Sarah said: “As part of MHST aims and values around equality, diversity and inclusion, we worked closely with a local secondary school to run a pilot work experience programme with 13 students at the Tavistock Centre. To ensure this experience was meaningful for the young people, we developed a programme of events with their input, which was enthusiastically attended by staff from a range of disciplines across the Trust. Everyone involved thoroughly enjoyed the activities and it was wonderful to listen to the reflections of the adults and young people who participated.”
Members of our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) team were invited to meet with the sixth form students and give a brief introduction on involvement work and how we work with children and young people to improve services and to sit on interview panels.
Patient and Public Involvement Coordinator Intisar Abdul-Kader said; “The students showed an interest in interview panels and a training session was organised a few weeks later. We hope to work with the students soon for interview panels focus groups.”