Mental illness has been a big part of my life, and I’ve seen first-hand how it can impact individuals on many levels. It was this personal experience that encouraged me to pursue a career in mental health support, and studying Psychology was the first step on this journey.
My favourite things about studying Psychology at Edge Hill were the variety of opportunities and the enthusiasm of tutors. I was lucky enough to take part in a paid internship during my second year, which allowed me to use lots of specialist equipment to undertake research, including eye tracking and facial electromyography. My tutors and lecturers were amazing, made us all feel welcome and supported, and were enthusiastic about all the topics they taught us.
A typical day in my job involves supporting 33 service users, who I work with on a 1-1 or group basis. The work I do with them includes observation, risk management, assisting with medication rounds, organising activities, handling difficult situations, and monitoring wellbeing and mental state. Communication with my team members is hugely important, so that we all know how our service users are doing from day to day. The compassion and patience I developed through my degree have been hugely important to this job.
Once I’m qualified as a nursing associate, I’m hoping to apply for a clinical psychology doctorate. Having a background in both a psychological/therapeutic and a clinical/nursing context, I think this makes me an ideal candidate. Ultimately, working in psychotherapies is my goal.
The best piece of advice I can offer anyone considering studying Psychology is to soak up all the information and opportunities you can. Get to know others, their interests and their career journeys. Most of all, find your area of special interest, or your ‘niche’, and as long as you’ve got that passion, you’ll succeed in anything you put your mind to.