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Hear from our staff

Explore what a career in healthcare is really like here from our colleagues in the blogs below. If you're interested in applying, you can also view all our vacancies on NHS jobs.

A day in the life of a Community Mental Health Support Worker

Neighbourhood Mental Health Team

Written by Holly (pictured in the middle)

I have been working as a support worker for almost two years. This is my first experience working within the NHS and I have been supported to gain skills and knowledge to practice in the best way. I have recently finished an apprenticeship diploma in senior mental health support. I am now looking at further training and ways to reach my potential working within mental health – Mental Health Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Nurse Associate, Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner – lots of things to think about if I feel up for more learning. But as always, supported by my amazing team and the great apprenticeship team to make decisions which are right for me.

Every day is different, no day is the same, there are ups and downs, very ups and very downs, it is never boring but sometimes very rewarding…

First thing arriving at base, a catch up with everyone and check in with myself… Where I am at, how am I feeling today and what does the next 8 hours hold – though it rarely ever goes to plan! After a tough day yesterday, I start today with a smile as I see our team manager has bought in not one, but TWO packs of doughnuts! She looks after our sugar levels!

Getting the day started… I log on, check emails, read up on notes, preparing myself for the day and the people I am meeting with. The day starts positively, meeting with a young lady for graded exposure (a way of treating a range of anxiety problems). Today is week four and she’s doing really well. It’s been a privilege to be part of her recovery journey. Talking and sharing to ensure she feels empowered and ready to venture out into the world again.

I then walk to meet an individual in his home. I have been supporting him to manage his bills and contact companies via telephone, which has been a great challenge for him. It has been a very up and down journey with anxiety and depression building high barriers to draw him away from his goal. After weeks of hard work he finally feels like he is getting somewhere, an amazing thing to see. Seeing tough times and tears has been heart breaking, though my team have supported me to manage this and be in a positive place myself to support the best I can.

Walking back to office and the doughnuts are calling, obviously after a ‘healthy’ lunch! Logging back on, I check a stream of emails and document appointment notes. It’s a positive half an hour writing up a fulfilling morning.

As the afternoon continues I venture to another town. First, with an individual I have not yet met. I’ve been asked by the team to get involved to support in accessing something in the community. We meet, we chat and work together to find something to support the individual to meet others, enjoy a hobby, add routine to each week and build confidence – easier said than done, though they are up for the challenge. Again, it’s a privilege to be part of someone’s recovery even at these early stages. I’ve learnt all people work differently, today it is clear this is going to be slow but sure, understanding and patience is key.

It’s not always a steady day and the next appointment doesn’t go to plan… it’s a not show and after a phone call it turns out they have simply forgotten. We have rearranged to meet up next week. This brings a bit of a downer and sense of ‘blah’… but with extra time I pop into the library to get up to date with what’s going on locally, new groups, classes, wants and needs.

I travel home to finish off, more note writing, replying to emails, messages, checking in with base and ticking off my list of things to do. Making sure I have everything ready for my day tomorrow I log off and pack up to begin my evening, ready for a fresh start in the morning!

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