Job Title: Mental health nursing lecturer
Since qualifying as a mental health nurse, I have worked in acute mental health inpatient wards. After completing my MSc in psychosocial interventions for psychosis, I worked as a CBT therapist in a Category B prison, then moved to university student support services as a mental health advisor and CBT therapist. I have been in academia for several years, initially as a lecturer practitioner but now as a full-time academic. I remain in clinical practice as a specialist mental health practitioner conducting triage for the ambulance service.
The PhD project I am currently completing is a hermeneutic phenomenological study looking at the lived experience of students with mental health problems who seek support at university. I am also part of the research team investigating urinary incontinence during older women’s secondary care admissions and exploring nurses’ experiences of delivering related care.
I am near to completion of my PhD project. I am on the research team for the U-INconti study. I am co-chair of The University of Salford ECR group for the school of health and society and on the University and NHS research ethics committee.
I was part of a team who submitted a tender to review mental health best practices in Universities
One great thing that your profession has achieved for Nursing and Midwifery practice
Evidence-based mental health nursing has come a long way. Thanks to research, people with mental health problems now have a voice and a platform to authentically shape future care.
Statement about yourself and career any interests
Research has always excited me fever since my first evidence-based practice module. I always wanted to know the whys and would not settle for ‘just because or ‘we have always done it that way.’ I needed the details. After seven years of working in inpatient acute settings, I completed my Masters’s degree and became a CBT therapist at a category B prison while working as a lecturer practitioner in my first lecturing post. Although I enjoyed CBT and working with the guys, I was keen to spend more time with students. I valued and enjoyed having students in practice with this same inquisitive attitude. It was such a joy to see them progress and see what great things they went on to achieve, both professionally and personally. While working academically, my clinical practice moved to university student services, where I found my niche.
Loving mental health nursing and academia enticed me to collaborate in both areas with my interest in research. This led me onto my PhD path. I met many students who felt their mental health needs were affecting their university experiences, and I wanted to know more about this, illuminate their experience and use this to shape university mental health provision for the broader student population. I am passionate about improving students’ experiences with mental health problems and investigating lived experiences using qualitative methods.
My research journey could not have started without some extraordinary and strong leadership, but more so to the participants who took the time to share their lived experiences; I will always be grateful for this. My respect for participants who joined my study made me passionate about ensuring other participants in other studies are respected and valued; this led me to join the NHS research ethics committee as an expert member. My lived experience as an ECR, drive to support and champion others, and core belief that research is FUN! led me to become co-chair of the University of Salford’s school of health and society early career research group.