Mental Health Nursing Personal Statement

A long-standing interest in the workings of the mind led me to take a degree in Psychology, while at the same time I was a volunteer with the West London Mental Health NHS Trust, where I was able to apply my theoretical knowledge in a practical support role in a unit offering rehabilitation to mental health patients.  I have continued to work in the caring services, and since 2009 in specifically mental health contexts, and so have gained extensive experience of working with patients with such problems, and have decided to spend the rest of my career in this field.  A Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing would enhance my knowledge and equip me in the best possible way for my planned professional life.  After my first degree I went on to complete a Master’s in Health Psychology, so that I can claim to have a very sound academic foundation for my career.  I wrote dissertations in both of my degree courses which focused on psychological problems. For my first degree I worked on The Effect of Stress on Health Behaviours and Self-Esteem of University Students and for my Master’s I explored Predictors of Body Image Dissatisfaction: the Contribution of Perfectionism and Socio-Cultural Pressure to be Thin.  Nursing those with mental health problems, however, demands more than academic knowledge, and attracts me because it calls for practical skills, quick thinking, the ability to communicate and, above all, the power of human empathy.  For me, the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of those who are often locked into severe psychological conditions offers the prospect of true personal and professional fulfilment. My early voluntary work brought me into contact with people whose mental health problems made it difficult for them to integrate into the community and the world of employment, as well as introducing me to the way the clinical team worked.  At the same time I worked ( and continue to do so) for Marie Stopes International as a Healthcare Assistant, where I gained experience of clinical procedures and learnt about the need for a tactful and sensitive approach to patients, and the importance of working within the framework of a medical team. Since completing my Master’s I have worked for East London NHS Foundation in the Mental Health Division, first as a Social Therapist and currently as an Assistant Practitioner.  At present my role is to build beneficial and therapeutic relationships with adults with acute and chronic mental health problems and to devise the most appropriate intervention procedures for their welfare.  I also provide vocational and employment support alongside activities and group work.  I assist the Psychologist and the Occupational Therapist with the sharing solutions group, the drug and alcohol group and the mental health awareness group, and with activities to promote anger management and relaxation.  I help the nursing staff in developing treatment packages to suit individual needs and to encourage patients to take responsibility for their own recovery.  I sometimes work with young people where good communication skills are essential in the building of positive and therapeutic relationships.

My substantial experience of the treatment of the mentally ill has left me in no doubt that I can make a difference to people’s lives, and particularly to the lives of those who are so sadly disabled by their conditions. I also have no illusions about how difficult the work can be and how important it is to retain a sense of perspective in working with such patients if one is to provide them with really productive care.  I am hard-working and enthusiastic about my career, and have demonstrated my academic ability as well as my practical skill in the wards. I have strong analytical skills, work well under pressure and enjoy being a part of the clinical team.  I am totally committed to my goal, and believe I have the necessary qualities to become a very successful Mental Health Nurse.


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