Mental Health Awareness Week - Andrea's Story
18-24 May 2020 marks Mental Health Awareness week which has fallen during a difficult time, and for some, will mean more now than ever. To honour this week of recognition, we are hearing from the inspirational Mental Health professionals from around our Trust, who tell us about their roles and the difference they make to our communities.
Today we hear from Andrea Samways who is the Clinical Team Lead for Portsmouth Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Looked After Children’s (LAC) Team.
"I started my career as a Paediatric Nurse and then went on to complete my Specialist Community Public Health Nursing degree. I then specialised in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, which led me to my career in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS). I am now the Clinical Team Lead for the Looked After Children’s Team (LAC) in Portsmouth.
"I have always worked with children and young people and have always had an interest in attachment relationships and the impact of such on physical and mental health outcomes. My interest in attachment and children’s mental health started many years ago, firstly when I became a parent, then during an experience whilst working at an Orphanage in Bulgaria and then as a Paediatric Nurse. I noticed that each child’s experience varied enormously, not just down to their diagnosis, disease or illness but notably the relationships between them and their caregiver.
"Today, I lead a team that strive to improve mental health outcomes for Portsmouth Looked After Children, who have often experienced significant trauma. We continue holding the hope for our young people when they are not able to, ensuring their experienced trauma does not define them. We use the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy principles in our approach, building a therapeutic relationship with the child/young person and their carer. Through this approach the relationship can form a safe place to be able to explore their earlier trauma, and then develop a positive and secure sense of self where they are then able to look forward to their future with hope and aspiration.
"Some touching feedback I received from a young person recently was - ‘Asking for help was the best thing I could have done. I did not know I was able to think differently about myself until talking to you’. Hearing this really makes me proud to do the work that myself and the team carries out, everyday."