‘Both my roles pro­vide me with daily chal­lenges’

The Oban Times - - News -

THE OBAN TIMES, in part­ner­ship with NHS High­land, is run­ning a series of ar­ti­cles which puts the spot­light on peo­ple who work in health­care across our area. An­swer­ing the ques­tions this week is Demi Velzian, a men­tal health prac­ti­tioner with the newly es­tab­lished sup­port­ing self-man­age­ment ser­vice.

Q. What is the sup­port­ing self-man­age­ment ser­vice?

A. We’re a new ser­vice based at New Craigs Hos­pi­tal in In­ver­ness that de­liv­ers short, time-lim­ited in­ter­ven­tions for peo­ple with any men­tal health di­ag­no­sis. We de­liver four skills-based groups over a twoweek pe­riod that are fo­cused on learn­ing and de­vel­op­ing life and self-man­age­ment skills such as ac­tiv­i­ties of daily liv­ing, the stress re­sponse and a range of ‘de­cider’ skills de­signed to equip peo­ple to lead a less im­pul­sive life. In­di­vid­u­als who use the ser­vice will also cre­ate a self-man­age­ment plan, in­clud­ing a cri­sis plan to use in times of fu­ture dis­tress.

Q. How are peo­ple re­ferred to the ser­vice?

A. Any­one who has been as­sessed by a men­tal health pro­fes­sional in ei­ther a com­mu­nity men­tal health team or hos­pi­tal set­ting can be re­ferred to our ser­vice. How- ever, we have cer­tain cri­te­ria that each per­son must meet in or­der to en­sure they can adapt to self-man­age­ment and the chal­lenges that come with it. Fol­low­ing re­fer­ral, if ap­pro­pri­ate, in­di­vid­u­als will be in­vited for a one-to- one con­sul­ta­tion to ori­en­tate them to the ser­vice.

Q. Were you work­ing with NHS High­land be­fore work­ing with this ser­vice?

A. Yes, I qual­i­fied as a nurse a year ago and I have been work­ing in the Clava ward at New Craigs Hos­pi­tal, which is a de­men­tia as­sess­ment ward. I at­tended the Univer­sity of Stir­ling’s High­land cam­pus and se­cured a job with NHS High­land af­ter grad­u­at­ing. Q. How did you find the tran­si­tion from be­ing a stu­dent to work­ing on the ward? A. I re­ally en­joyed the chal­lenge. Work­ing in a de­men­tia as­sess­ment ward is very hands- on and I have learned a great deal from my ex­pe­ri­enced col­leagues.

It can be emo­tion­ally de­mand­ing see­ing pa­tients at their worst, but it also means that I can try to help them and their fam­i­lies.

Work­ing in men­tal health puts me and my col­leagues in a very priv­i­leged po­si­tion.

Q. What at­tracted you to the sup­port­ing self-man­age­ment ser­vice?

A. I saw the po­si­tion ad­ver­tised and I have al­ways been in­ter­ested in psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tress, as I like the idea of help­ing peo­ple on a one-to- one ba­sis as well as in a group set­ting. I still work on the ward and both my roles are pro­vid­ing me with chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties to test my­self on a daily ba­sis.

Q. How do you bal­ance what must be two de­mand­ing roles?

A. In a nor­mal week, I work three days in the sup­port­ing self-man­age­ment ser­vice and the rest of the time on the ward, although it doesn’t al­ways work out that way. I en­joy work­ing across dif­fer­ent ar­eas of men­tal health and it can only help with my own pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment as a men­tal health prac­ti­tioner, as both roles com­ple­ment each other. It means I al­ways have to be ahead of the game and let my re­spec­tive line man­agers know where I’m go­ing to be and when.

Q. What are the most re­ward­ing el­e­ments of your role in sup­port­ing self-man­age­ment?

A. It en­ables me to work with peo­ple who are at a low point in their life as they usu­ally come to us when they’ve gone through a re­ally dif­fi­cult pe­riod. See­ing them be­ing hon­est and open about their strug­gles and be­ing able to help them move for­ward is ex­tremely grat­i­fy­ing.

Q. What do you like to do to switch off from your work?

A. Work­ing in two jobs doesn’t pro­vide me with many op­por­tu­ni­ties to switch off com­pletely. How­ever, I like to walk my dog and I love pho­tog­ra­phy. I’ve lived in In­ver­ness since I was six years old, hav­ing moved with my fam­ily from Orkney, and there are so many pic­turesque spots across the High­lands to in­dulge in both of my favourite hob­bies.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.