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Student Futures

Organisation case studies

Bethany Maggs, Psychology and Counselling Graduates

When I was at University I volunteered with Redcar and Cleveland Mind. I studied psychology and counselling and Mind is a well-known organisation I had heard a lot about. I chose this organisation because it is such a great mental health charity to be a part of and the experience they were able to offer me was amazing.

Bethany Maggs

On a typical day I would provide support for the Mental Health Practitioners, such as setting up Gateway files, entering client information into a confidential system and following their file closure procedure. Additionally, I would write GP and appointment letters and research and provide information on mental well-being for the Mental Health Practitioners.

Through volunteering, I have learned that I can manage a caseload and push myself out of my comfort zone. I was able to better my understanding of what I was learning about in lectures as experiencing clients who were suffering from mental health conditions is so different to just reading about them.

It's hard to say what I enjoyed the most as my whole volunteering process was a positive one. I enjoyed being able to help in making a positive difference to a client's mental health.

My biggest piece of advice to potential volunteers would be to say 'yes' to everything you can. During university it's quite hard to decide what career you want to follow when you graduate but with volunteering you can get a taster of the field you've chosen and see if it's right for you. Once you graduate it's so competitive - if someone is willing to give you experience now, then it is so worth taking it.

I have just been employed by Redcar and Cleveland Mind as a Mental Health Practitioner. My main role is to provide person centred one-to-one emotional support to clients with mild to moderate mental health problems and assist with their recovery. This includes needs assessment, risk assessment, support planning and outcome monitoring. Support includes encouraging, motivating and planning to support clients to participate in activities and learning opportunities in the community, such as voluntary work or employment opportunities. I also currently run a Community Hub at Redcar Hospital every other Tuesday.

My plans for the future are to keep gaining as much experience as I can and continue following a career into mental health.