Tell me a bit about your role?
I am the acting Team Manager for the Early Help Service within Hampshire CAMHS. I am currently wearing a number of hats at the moment. I was previously the clinical team lead for the Havant Mental Health Support Team (MHST) one of only 2 in the County until two days ago when we welcomed 5 more MHST teams into Hampshire CAMHS. The MHST teams sit within the Early Help Service. In October our Early Help Team manager left and I have stepped into the position for 6 months.
What is a typical day in your mental health support role?
One of the things I love about the job is that there is no 'typical day'. For example, yesterday I went down to our Ashurst office to meet and greet the new MHST teams as they popped in to collect their computers and get set up with I.T. Then in the afternoon I was in a strategy meeting planning the delivery of our groups within the Early Help service, followed by a supervision session with a staff member then made a call to a young person to update a risk assessment before finishing the day with a pile of e-mailing.
What would you say makes your role different than any other at the Trust?
I think what makes it different is that the MHST service is still so new and growing all the time so being involved in that is very exciting. Also, the Early Help service in general is evolving, with big changes happening to the types of interventions we are able to make as a first line offer of support to our young people. We are working hard to implement a new programme of workshops and groups.
Mental health support involves working with schools and commutes a lot. Do you find that it's important to help improve the environment around the person in care as well as the service user?
A big part of the work that we do within the MHST is based on the 'Whole School Approach'. The team are passionate about making our schools mentally healthy environments for the young people that attend them. Part of the work we do is about training teaching and support staff within schools and undertaking a wellbeing 'audit' to ascertain what is working well and where improvements can be made.
Why is working at Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust different than any other place?
I cannot stress this enough, I have an amazing team who are passionate and dedicated as well as inspirational managers who keep me motivated and challenged.
If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing on your first day what would it be?
Develop a more efficient filing system for your e-mails and bring a mug with you anytime you go in to an office - you never know who has a secret coffee maker squirreled away!