I’m a staff nurse at Windsor House, Toxteth. People come to us when they’re in crisis after becoming mentally unwell. It’s a multi cultural area; we get patients from different backgrounds. I grew up here so I feel I’m giving back to the community.
Mental health stigma is still so strong in some of these communities. It’s not talked about and there is fear and superstition when someone shows signs of being unwell. It happened in my own family; it was devastating and it gave me the determination to become a mental health nurse. My background is Somali so when Somalian patients come in I tell them in their language about their illness and treatment. It’s so rewarding to see their response when I tell them they will get better and we can help them.
Our patients are all very different. They may be depressed, suicidal, or they may have self harmed. Some want to be quiet while others are very active, so I try to give everyone their own space and our time. We have a great team and a very supportive manager. We always reflect on each day’s events to see how we can make it even better next time.
I volunteer with Mersey Care’s global training programme in which professionals like me share their skills with colleagues in Mogadishu via a live link. It’s opened my eyes to just how much we have but also how much we can learn from them. The drive and passion there has given me the same drive and passion for my patients.