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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."

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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pals@solent.nhs.uk

 0800 013 2319

*Lines are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm

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The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.

Email: FreedomOfInformation@solent.nhs.uk

Phone: 023 8029 6911/22

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Our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton.

While our services can be found around various NHS locations in Southampton and Portsmouth (and surrounding districts), our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton at:

Highpoint Venue
Bursledon Road
Southampton
SO19 8BR

If you require a printable version of how to find us including bus times, car access and bike info please download our leaflet. (Copyright of Highpoint Venue).

Central office phone: 0300 123 3390

*Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact the Communications Team at:

communications@solent.nhs.uk 

0300 123 4156 or 02381 031076

The Communications Office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.