In this blog, we delve into a day in the life of one of our very own Mental Health Support Workers, to find out more about the enriching and diverse world of mental health careers. We're sharing Darcey's story as a dedicated Mental Health Support Worker at Park House, our mental health crisis centre.
Through Darcey's experiences, we'll discover what it really means to have a fulfilling, interesting and rewarding career in mental health support.
Let's begin before the beginning
"I've always been really interested in mental health and psychology, so this role seemed perfect when I first applied, from its job specification to the work environment," Darcey recalls. She was looking for a way to couple her passion for psychology with a job that helps people. So when she discovered this Mental Health Support Worker role at Park House back in July 2023, she realised she'd found exactly what she was looking for.
A day in the life of Darcey
"Firstly, there is no typical day at Park House! But that is one of the many things I love about the role! Each day is unique due to the wide range of mental health issues and diverse personalities that come to Park House.
"Generally, as I first arrive, a hand-over takes place to discuss and assess the current guests in Park House, as well as their needs and any support, signposting, or referrals that will need to take place for them. Throughout the day, I introduce myself to the guests and provide as much support as I can, ranging from emotional support, active listening, reassurance, and practical support - this is all tailored to the individual guests' needs, goals, and personality.
"I often liaise with the NHS mental health teams, both over the phone and in person when they visit our guests. This involves communicating about the guests' mental health and any concerns that may arise. Additionally, I receive and process new referrals from them for individuals in a mental health crisis, and if accepted, check them into Park House.
"Signposting is another significant and frequent aspect to my role - guests may be facing various additional challenges, involving housing, finance, drugs and alcohol. I therefore support these individuals by creating referrals for them, contacting various other agencies and charities for additional support, as well as information on local Housing Options, community resources and food banks.
"I love how there is no typical day in my job at Park House, with each day being an opportunity to learn something new. I love how rewarding the role is - providing support to those who need it. The culture at Park House is largely characterised by a strong emphasis on empathy, compassion and support for all individuals facing a mental health crisis. I truly believe my day-to-day role is instrumental in creating a positive impact on the lives of the individuals we support by fostering a supportive, understanding, non-judgmental environment that promotes recovery, positivity and independence."
What about when a day becomes months?
"Although I have worked here for a relatively short time, I feel as though my knowledge and skills have broadened each day, increasing both my confidence and experience with it. I have expanded my knowledge of mental health issues, personality disorders, benefits, NHS mental health teams, and housing applications. I've also built on my communication and active listening skills, and I've had the opportunity to take part in various training courses - including my care-certificate that I'm about to complete! That's my ultimate goal right now - to gain as much experience and training as I can.
Darcey's advice to anyone considering a career at WCL
"Park House has been a great place to work! My colleagues and managers have been amazing to work with - they have been so supportive and made me feel like one of the team as soon as I arrived. Just go for it!"
Inspired by Darcey's story and interested in a career that truly changes lives? Visit wechangelives.org.uk/careers to explore opportunities in mental health support and more at We Change Lives.
Join a team where every day is a chance to make a difference!