"I would ask everyone to be kinder to one another, as you never know when you will need someone to show a little bit of kindness"
Hello, my name is Stephen Urry, but I prefer Steve.
I work as a Senior Mental Health Practitioner in the Assessment to Intervention team, better known as the A2i Team. We are based in Portsmouth and are part of the Adult Mental Health Service provided by Solent NHS Trust.
As a team we are the access point to routine adult mental health care. We receive referrals from many services, such as local GP’s, liaison services at QA Hospital and in the Criminal Justice system, primary care services for example Talking Change & Positive Minds. And I also link with Veterans Outreach Support charity here in Portsmouth.
Our service will complete a full Psycho-Social assessment of each person that we see. We will often provide some initial advice and guidance followed by a discussion with our wider team, which includes nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and peer services such as Solent Mind.
Once we have a recommended plan of care, we will discuss this with the patient.
We aim to help support individuals follow this plan to start their mental health recovery journey.
We see people form all walks of life, all with one thing in common, they are having difficulty maintaining their mental health.
We know that the last year has not been easy for anyone, in a recent survey of 16,000 people carried out on behalf of Mind, 60% of adults & 68% of young people said their mental health had got worse during ‘lockdown’.
Some of these people will have developed new mental health problems due to the pandemic and some with existing mental health problems would have become worse.
We in A2i are seeing an increase in need for our service and have continued to work throughout, mainly using telephone or video consultations.
A group of people that I take a particular interest in are our armed forces veterans or as some prefer to be known as ex-members of the UK armed forces.
I was a member of the Royal Air Force from the age of 18 to mid 30’s. And know all too well the effects on your mental health when you leave.
I was medically discharged not because of trauma but due to my physical health. When you suddenly lose the close ties that you have grown up with, the routine and camaraderie it can be tough.
In A2i we always treat our patients with kindness. With armed forces veterans they are often least kind to themselves for many reasons.
Following this years ‘World Mental Health Day’ theme of kindness, I would ask everyone to be kinder to one another, as you never know when you will need someone to show a little bit of kindness.
We saw how it can bring people together earlier this year, we just need to carry it on.
If you are currently struggling with your mental health, please be kind to yourself and speak up. Speak to your GP, call 111 or the Samaritans on 116123.