Before joining Buckinghamshire New University in 2016, I had extensive experience of working with various types of mental health conditions, especially within forensic mental health inpatient settings. My expertise in recovery, service user and care involvement led to the development of the first recovery college within forensic services in England. I have successfully worked with service users and employers to establish a pathway for people with ‘lived experience’ to pursue employment opportunities within the National Health Service and private sector.
I studied for my MSc in Applied Positive Psychology at Buckinghamshire New University and my specialist area of interest is the application of positive psychology interventions in mental healthcare. It is interesting because positive psychology interventions such as strengths embrace a person centred approach which enable the individual to learn about and identify their strengths so that they can use these to empower change which in turn enhances happiness and self-worth. This aligns with my interest area of recovery approaches in mental health care and motivates my drive to introduce positive psychology concepts into mental health through training, service improvement projects and research.
I am a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and registered as a Mental Health Nurse and Qualified Teacher.
My specialist knowledge has led me to work with a range of private and public healthcare providers such as Central Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust on projects such as One Community Recovery Focused Groups Evaluation Project. I have also worked with Health Education England on the Third Sector Involvement Champions project where we trained people diagnosed with learning disabilities and autism to be ‘experts by experience’, working with partners to promote service change and policy development.
My career highlight is having had the privilege to lead the introduction of the first forensic recovery college within forensic mental health services in London. This was a transformation change which contributed to a new culture within forensic services where service users were viewed as experts by virtue of their experiences and they became the driving force in decisions made about their treatment and the development, delivery and evaluation of services.