Top Tips

Talk to me

  • Think about the messages your actions send. You might be avoiding mental health patients because you feel unskilled and don’t want to make things worse… but what I see is you speaking to every patient apart from me and wondering why that might be.
  • If you need to talk about me, ask me if we’d like to be there. If I don’t (or if this is not possible) make sure you’re out of earshot – it’s horrible overhearing a conversation about yourself!
  • I know sometimes you need to talk to my parents/carers, but talk to me too!
  • I might be too scared to ask to speak to you away from my parents/carers, so make sure you always offer this as an option. Me First ( has lots of great tips on how to normalise seeing young people on their own.
  • Be honest with me! I know that sometimes it can be hard to tell me the truth about things such as waiting times, when we can go home, or confidentiality. It may make your shift easier, but it’s going to be really tough for me when we find out the truth. It can leave me with feelings of betrayal or make me question why you wouldn’t tell me the truth… I might wonder what else you might be hiding?! If you aren’t transparent with me it can have a really bad impact on our relationships not just with you, but with my relationship of seeking care too.
  • I often get asked the same questions again and again, which can be frustrating. Tell me why you need to ask them again- has the situation changed, do you want to hear it from me, are the handover notes too brief?

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