Lead Nurse Mental Health and Learning Disability
NHS Dumfries and Galloway
What inspired you to work in the community?
I qualified in 2003 where my nursing journey began working in Secure Mental Health Services. I absolutely loved my job however often those I worked with had missed opportunities for earlier intervention that may have resulted in a different path for them. I had never considered working in the community until I was supporting an individual to go to the beach, they smelt the sea air and held a sea shell for the first time as part of their transition to community services. It was a privilege and humbling experience. I recognised then that I wanted to do something to help reduce stigma for people with mental ill health and support them accessing the right care and treatment to live meaningful lives in the community. I wanted to be part of the persons journey. The person that believed in them and advocated for them with the hope that it prevented them entering the criminal justice system.
A listening ear, a smile, touch, words of reassurance and time can have the biggest impact on a person’s journey.