Education:Wellsway School Bristol, St Brendan's Sixth Form College Bristol, Plymouth University, University of the West of England.
Qualifications:GCSE's, A-Levels, BSc (hons) Psychology, MSc Health Psychology.
Work History:Peer Assisted Learning Scheme Leader at Plymouth University, Support Worker at Milestones Trust, Assistant Psychologist at LIFT Psychology.
Employment Support Co-ordinator
Favourite thing to do in my job: Visit and learn about lots of different workplaces
Health Psychology graduate working in mental health services
I live in Bristol with my boyfriend and we have a cat called Reggie.
Here he is as a kitten last summer and enjoying the snow back in February:
I love cooking, baking and trying new recipes (my colleagues seem to like me baking cakes for some reason!). I’m a lifelong vegetarian.
I read a lot of books and I am a member of a book club, I am currently reading A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.
Helping people with mental health problems with their work
I support adults with mental health problems with their work, especially when their job is causing a mental health problem or making it worse.
I speak with their manager to see if there is anything that can be done to make things better for them at work. Sometimes this is things like taking more breaks, having more opportunities to talk about things that are causing them stress or reducing/changing their working hours. There is lots that can be done to help someone at work, sometimes just making a small change can make a big difference!
Part of my role is also teaching managers about mental health so they know what to look out for when their staff are struggling and what they can do to help.
I also organise and chair something called a ‘Vocational Advice Network’, where people who work in lots of different mental health and employment based services come together to talk about what they can offer service users and we help each other by giving advice and helping others to find the best services for the people we are supporting.
My Typical Day
Meeting service users and their managers
Every day is different in my job, but often I will meet a service user one-to-one, sometimes at their home or we meet for a coffee and talk about how things have been for them at work and what support they need. After this, I might make some phone calls if I am working out in the community then get some lunch.
In the afternoon, I might have a meeting with someone’s employer. If this is my first meeting with them I explain what my team can do to help both them and the employee and hear about what they need help with too, then we come up with a plan. Some employers understand mental health but unfortunately not all of them do, so this meeting sometimes involves teaching them about how mental health can affect people.
If I have time at the end of the day, I head to the office and type up my notes and send some emails and make some more phone calls.
What I'd do with the prize money
Mental Health workshop
I would use the money to run a workplace wellbeing workshop, open to all service users, employers and the general public. This is often asked for by employers and would be very helpful for them and their staff so it would be great to be able to make it available to anyone looking to improve their mental health in the workplace.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Caring, Curious and Friendly
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I have always had an interest in other people and working in mental health services is very rewarding
What was your favourite subject at school?
At secondary school it was History, at college it was Psychology
What did you want to be after you left school?
All I knew was that I wanted to help people, other than that I hadn't really decided!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I think I had one group detention! I was quite a well-behaved student.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would be a nurse but I'm not a fan of blood...
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Bon Iver or James Blake
What's your favourite food?
I love a thai curry (as long as it's a veggie one!)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Theme parks in Florida
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
1) To win the lottery 2) For my family and friends to have good health 3) To be able to eat lots of chocolate and not put on weight!
Tell us a joke.
My mum laughed at me when I told her I'd made a car out of spaghetti. You should have seen her face as I drove pasta! (sorry, it's bad I know!)