Getting to know Orri’s Registered Mental Health Nurse, Victoria. Here, she shares her inspiration for her role and what destiny had in store for her career.
How long have you been a mental health nurse for and what were you doing before Orri?
I have worked in the healthcare sector for 6 years. I have been qualified as a Registered Mental Health Nurse for 3 years and whilst studying for my degree I worked as a healthcare assistant for 3 years. After qualifying as a nurse, I worked in a specialist eating disorders inpatient unit, following on from this I worked in a working age women’s acute/crisis inpatient unit until this ward subsequently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was then redeployed to an older adult crisis/acute inpatient unit. My experience to date so far was largely focused on crisis intervention, risk management and promoting recovery.
Can you tell us what drew you to this profession?
I have always had a keen interest and passion for mental health and well-being. My own personal experiences with mental health is ultimately what drew me to this profession, including supporting my friends and family during some truly difficult times and being alongside them on the journey to recovery. I feel like I was destined to become a nurse, as I love my job and I love what I do.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
What I enjoy most about my role is meeting so many new people, hearing their stories and being alongside them in their individual healing and recovery journeys. Knowing that I can put a smile on someone’s face or give them joy and hope in a time of suffering is the reason I get out of bed every morning!
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
The most challenging aspect of the role is when a client struggles to find hope in their recovery and subsequently ends treatment prematurely. I believe everyone with the right support and guidance can recover from their mental health struggles and I will never give up on a client even when they cannot hold onto hope themselves.
What do you wish people knew about psychology/mental health/therapy?
Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go, they merely determine where you start. While it may be tempting to look back at a more stable time in life or to anticipate the future when you start to feel a sense of unease, staying present with your emotions can help keep your mental health and well-being grounded. Focus your attention and energy in the moment and on the impact of these experiences on your mind and body. All of this can help you tap into your needs and understand if therapeutic guidance and support is the way forward for you.
What do you feel is most unique about Orri?
The compassion, acceptance, honesty and love that exudes in all my colleagues is what makes Orri so unique. All of my colleagues individually bring something so distinctive to each clients recovery and I feel so aligned with the Orri approach in treating the whole person, not just the eating disorder.
Outside of work, what do you do for your own mental wellbeing?
I love going on mindfulness, yoga and meditation retreats regularly, something I cannot wait to do again when we can travel. I practice meditation regularly both in nature or in the comfort of my own home. During the lockdown, going for a walk and grabbing my favourite coffee has been my go-to. I also enjoy journaling in an evening for reflection and intention setting. Lastly, as everyone at Orri knows I LOVE cats and I feel they are a significant contributor to my well-being!
Do you have a mental health hero?
My current and past clients are all my mental health heroes! Their courage, bravery and resilience when undergoing intensive and challenging therapy inspires me every day.
If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?
When your body is telling you to slow down, to take time out and heal it’s emotional wounds… reach out for support! You are never alone and there is always hope! Caring for our own health and well-being is ESSENTIAL and seeking therapeutic support can quite honestly change your life and provide security in the times of uncertainty.