There are lots of development opportunities here, I think it’s a big selling point. I love working with young people at a time that is crucial in their lives. To work with them to create a better future, to create a better path towards the life that they want.
I qualified as a nurse last year and nursing is my first career. Later on I may move into paediatric nursing, which I know the Trust will support. Joining Sussex Partnership was a smooth process. I’d already completed a student placement with the Trust and when I joined, my whole first month was mapped out for me. I was sent almost immediately on a therapy course.
We see quite a mixed caseload at our clinic, especially children suffering from anxiety. It may be separation anxiety, bullying or social anxiety, such as social interaction or eating in front of people. If they are coming to clinic it is because these anxieties have got to a disabling level and the children are struggling to attend school or leave their homes, sometimes resulting in panic attacks. We also see cases of self-harming, psychosis, bi-polar disorder and OCD.
Our team has a diverse mix of skills and it’s great to have so many different perspectives and skillsets available all the time. People always make themselves available to help. To be good at this job you need to be non-judgemental and calm. You need to know your limitations, accept that you don’t know everything and that it’s OK to ask for help. Be approachable, be creative, look for ways to enhance relationships and help young people to open up.
Sussex Partnership recently launched the new Stay Alive app to support people who are having thoughts of suicide. It contains all sorts of information, support lines, websites, who to talk to, all in one place. It’s perfect for getting instant information to young people in a way that they are comfortable with. It’s the sort of innovation we’re proud of here.
I’m also enjoying creating a self-help and safety handbook for a young person with bipolar disorder. Although she may have long periods of stability, the handbook will be there to support her and her parents if anything changes. It gives everyone some independence and reassurance. It’s full of contacts, coping mechanisms, stress management tips, signs and symptoms to watch out for.