#ThatsAmaré Healthcare Love Stories: 01, Mental Health
Welcome to the first interview of our #ThatsAmaré campaign. This February, during the month of love, we are sharing healthcare love stories to reminding NHS staff ‘to love’ what they do.
Every week we chat to professionals in various sectors across healthcare, focussing on why they love their job, touching on their personal experiences, and their advice to fellow colleagues.
Love comes in all forms, and now, more than ever, the vocation of our healthcare staff is of the most important expressions of love we can witness. Let’s come together and celebrate the love that our health heroes have for what they do, encouraging better well-being for those who look after others before themselves, all day every day.
Today we spoke to Lydia, 71, who works in mental health. We hope her answers can remind you of the amazing things that happen every day within the NHS, in every profession, all around the UK.
‘What do you love most about the sector you work in?’
Helping people to get well again, those people who, for whatever reasons, some of which are quite tragic, need help and support to recover from mental illness and to return to live in the community.
‘What’s the best piece of advice you would give to your younger self starting out in your area of work’
Be kind, open-minded, non-judgmental, and treat patients and colleagues with respect. Learn as much as possible, ask what you don’t understand. If you make a mistake, consider it a learning opportunity. The patients are your teachers, they are the experts in their mental health issues.
‘How do you cope when you feel demotivated or down about work’
I talk to my colleagues or my line manager. Sometimes it just helps to know we are all in the same situation, and we help each other. However, I can come into work feeling quite demotivated, and then something positive will happen during the day, which will instantly lift my spirits. That’s why I always try to remind myself whenever I am feeling demotivated, that it will pass, and that in the scheme of things, at least I have a job, and am able to help others far less fortunate than me.
‘What initially motivated you to work in your current sector’
I studied Psychology at university and became ‘hooked’ on forensic work. I initially worked in the prison service, before transferring to the NHS, now working in a medium secure unit. I remain thoroughly motivated to work in this sector.
‘What tips would you give to those who may be feeling burnt out in their role, given the current pressures on the NHS / care services across the UK’
Take as much care as you can to maintain your own mental and physical health. There are numerous areas of NHS support that have been set up for employees who are feeling stressed, or burnt out, but also ideas for prevention strategies. Keep talking to your colleagues and line managers, friends and family, don’t keep it to yourself, we all need help sometimes. Seek official help if necessary – some of the support hotlines are open 24/7.
‘Can you give us an example of expressions of ‘love’ (any kind!) you have seen in your line of work?’
I love seeing patients who help each other, such as, when one patient bought another patient a bar of chocolate when he had just been admitted and had no money. Patients who take the time to send thank you messages or cards to staff. Colleagues asking if you are ok, and can they help you with anything.
If you work within healthcare and have a love story that you would like to share, to help remind our NHS workers why they love what they do, please feel free to send it in via [email protected]