|I am a child psychiatrist, so that, that means that I work with young people under the age of 18 who have mental health difficulties.
|So, when I say mental health difficulties, that’s a huge range of problems that some people can have, so I might be seeing young people who are depressed and low in mood who might have taken overdoses or self-harmed. I see lots of young people with anxiety difficulties, other issues, such as autism and ADHD. I also see young people with serious mental health conditions, such as psychosis or schizophrenia and also a lot of eating disorders. So, I see a lot of young people up to the age of 18, as young as 4 or 5, with a range of mental health problems.
|After school, I went to medical school for 6 years, er, and qualified as a doctor, and then having qualified I spent 2 years doing a lot of different doctor jobs as a junior doctor, which is what all doctors do when they first qualify, and then you choose your speciality, and I chose psychiatry, but I’d also enjoyed paediatrics when I was working, and so I started in psychiatry seeing young people all the way up to the elderly, and decided, after a number of years of doing general psychiatry that I would specialise in just working with young people under 18 and their families.
|A lot of exams on the way, some of which I failed and had to retake, so one thing I’d say: Don’t always worry about failing exams, you can always go back.
|So, to become a psychiatrist, you have to go and do medicine and the kind of things you need to take at A-Level are chemistry, biology and physics, erm, but you don’t have to be a doctor and a psychiatrist to work in mental health, children’s mental health or any mental health. I work in a team, I lead a team, but we have nurses, general mental health professionals, social workers, so it’s a broad range of people who work in here. Erm, you don’t have to be a, a doctor, there’s lots of other avenues and ways of getting into mental health working.
|I find working with young people and their families who have mental health difficulties extremely rewarding. If we can help the young person at a young age improve in some, or to some extent, then in the long run, the trajectory of their life can make, er, a huge difference, and that can be very satisfying. I know how many young people and families are suffering from mental health difficulties, it’s an ever-increasing problem for people and I want to be able to work in a team that’s able to support people as best as, as possible. I’d like to hope there’s some better understanding, just like someone who has a broken leg, it’s not their fault, someone who has mental health difficulties, again, it’s not their fault. They need their, they need our support er and guidance, erm, just like anyone coming into any hospital for any reason.
|Finally, I suppose I would say if you wanted to work in mental health, I think there’s a couple of things that are really important. One, you’ve got to be a good listener and listen to peoples’ difficulties, and again, you’ve got to have a lot of empathy for people and the hardships they face and the struggles they go through, erm, and you have to find ways to identify with that and help.
|Voiceover: If you’ve been affected by any of the issues mentioned in this film and would like to talk to someone, please contact Childline on 0800 1111 or Childline.org.uk.
|END OF TRANSCRIPTION