Psychiatric nurse in the UK

I started my career as a psychiatric nurse in a mental hospital that dates back to the Victorian times. It was grim but it was here that I saw the full spectrum of mental illnesses in their acute forms. I learnt about medication and its side effects and saw how the mental health act was implemented. With the implementation of Care in the Community Act 1990 people with enduring mental illness were discharged to the community on a large scale and community psychiatric nurses were in great demand. Like most folks I signed up and was part of a team who carried a huge caseload, ran depot clinics and assessed clients referred by primary care. It was here that we saw problems: long waiting times, inconsistency of services and overload of referrals, to name a few.

St James Hospital Portsmouth UK

Brief intervention in primary care

Mental health in primary care

I then went on to provide brief intervention in primary care working closely with GPs. My intervention included mindfulness, psycho- education on medication, exploring various coping strategies or recommending books. I would also right site clients to secondary care or other services in the community. I used PH-Q 9 and wrote my notes on the surgery’s electronic medical record. I also saw private clients in the capacity of a life coach and trainer in mental health and soft skills.My final gig was in rehabilitation – getting down to the basics of reintegrating institutionalised people into society.

The secret to a great retirement & mental health

It was in 2012 that I decided to hang up my spurs. Langkawi had great potential and I thought I could work on my tan there. But I found out that I didn’t have the patience to bask in the sun like a lizard. Instead I reinvented myself and embarked on a small business offering Zumba, workshops on soft skills and talks on mental health. Looking back I have not veered from the fact that our physical health is very much connected to our mental health. The secret to good mental health I find, is to plan your retirement and do things that bring you joy and nourish your spirit. A year later a few of us founded the Rotary Club of Langkawi executing projects to help the needy and improve the environment. For my sins I served as club president in 2014-15.

Zumba warm up in “Run for Life” organised by Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi

“You can be your best” a self- help book on mental health and goal setting can be borrowed in NLB

A goal realised

I started “You can be your best “many years ago. But due to other commitments I had to put it on the back burner.

In 2017 I decided to publish it so that others may benefit from my experience. “You can be your best” opened a fantastic opportunity for me. In 2018 I returned to Singapore – the country of my birth assuming the role of senior manager for the community intervention team- this time for a VWO.

I know there is much I can offer having worked in both the British and Singaporean system. But I’m often frustrated: The literature shows that there is a desperate shortage of mental health workers and existing services are fragmented. .

This shortage can be rectified when decision makers work harder towards a ‘can do’ mindset and start shifting from a popular held paradigm to a radical one.

What I can do and for you

So here’s the deal: I am based in Singapore and available for assignments abroad. I can help you set up or improve mental health service delivery in both primary and secondary care. This may include training in selected subjects. I can deliver a one of presentation or be part of a team that’s involved in change management.
I can deliver talks on mental health and conduct workshops on soft skills for example work life balance, assertiveness or goal setting. No project is too small.

You know what to do next

Call me : +65 88695241

Email: info@recovernow.com.sg

WhatsApp: +60147456338

Skype: hery.dehaan2