What our staff say
Every single day, our dedicated teams carry out a wide range of tasks to support our patients and their friends, families and carers.
Our staff work across a range of disciplines and provide care and treatment to almost 20,000 people from south west London and beyond.
Every day is different. Every day is a challenge. Every day is an opportunity to help others.
We asked some of our staff what they like about working in mental health...
Sarah: Staff Nurse and Preceptee Mentor at SWLSTG
How long have you been working in mental health? I have worked as a RMN within the Trust for just over a year but I have previous experience working with those within mental health as a HCA in an acute CAMHS inpatient unit whilst I was a student nurse.
Did you work in any other area before working in mental health? I have worked as a support worker previously with children and adults with learning difficulties.
Why are you passionate about it? I am passionate about working to support others and teaching which has always been an interest of mine.
What is one of the best things about working in mental health? I love the hands on work and learning something new everyday working with patients aswell as alongside my colleagues
What is the one misconception you think is out there about mental health? People with mental health problems can snap out of it or change if they tried hard enough.
Hannah: Occupational Therapist in Deaf mental health
How long have you been working in mental health? 10 years ! 9 months in a Low Secure Women’s unit, 4 years in drug and alcohol detox ward (Rowan Ward), 5 years in rehab (Phoenix Unit) and now I’m working in Deaf mental health (Bluebell Ward).
Did you work in any other area before working in mental health? Before working in mental health, I was and OT student. When we train to be OTs, as part of our course, we have to have placements so I have also worked on a neuro stroke ward, community physical health, eating disorders, Early Intervention, CAMHS ward and elderly mental health.Before I trained to be an OT I worked in Sainsbury’s and staples doing sales assistant’s work. I also worked briefly as a pharmacy assistant which I really enjoyed and actually helped me as an OT.
Why are you passionate about it? They say 1 in 4 people can experience a mental health problem, which really means that all of us will have at least 1 or more people in our life struggling. This means that mental health really affects everyone whether you are a service user, carer, friend, parent, family member etc. I am also passionate about it because of the cuts made to services, it’s important, given the current circumstances, that we provide the best support, care and easiest access we can within our remit. I am also passionate about mental health as I have also had my own journey as a service user. There have been ups and downs but I was lucky enough to access the right interventions. I believe that it’s really important to be able to talk about our own mental health (including at work!) to break down stigma and increase more open meaningful conversations.
What is one of the best things about working in mental health? Certainly as an OT it’s the variety. I can be baking one day, walking the next, going to a museum, trying to figure out why someone cant wash themselves…..also I get to meet all kinds of people.
What is the one misconception you think is out there about mental health? I think there is still an idea in the general public that people with mental health problems are ‘crazy’ or ‘dangerous’ which is obviously wrong, anyone could have a mental health problem. However, certainly the younger generation are much more informed about mental health through the internet. I was recently on a discussion panel at University of Arts London talking about mental health and politics and my mind was blown by how much the room of students aged between 18-25 knew and the recovery focused and trauma informed language they were using.
Name Bertha: Senior Development Nurse
How long have you been working in mental health? 10 years
Did you work in any other area before working in mental health? Before becoming a mental health nurse I was a high school teacher for a while. One summer holiday I bumped into an old colleague who had left teaching and gone to train as a mental health nurse. She started to share with me her experiences as a mental health nurse and I felt so inspired. This was a turning point for me and I decided that I was going to change careers and go and train as a mental health nurse. It was a leap of faith but it just felt right and continues to be one of the best decisions of my life as I love my job.
Why are you passionate about it? It is amazing how you get to share one’s journey and be a part of the support they might need at that particular time. Learning that each person is a unique individual and taking the time to listen. Although in my current role I do not have the opportunity for a lot of clinical work, I have a platform where I can share my passion with student nurses, preceptees and mentors and hopefully inspire them the way I have fortunately been inspired by some fantastic mental health nurses along my journey.
What is one of the best things about working in mental health? Every day is different and I get to meet different individuals both staff and patients and learn so much from each and every one.
What is the one misconception you think is out there about mental health? That mental health nursing is ‘hard’ on the contrary I have found it really rewarding and enjoyable.