"I use the knowledge gained around psychopathology to support people in my current role"
I started to gain an interest in mental health and the different models that explain the causes, symptoms and treatment as part of my A levels, and wished to explore this further at university level.
While at MMU, I enjoyed studying Personality and Abnormal Psychology, Social and Community Psychology, Psychopathology, Criminology, and Practical Psychology. In fact, I use the knowledge gained around psychopathology to support people with mental health issues in my current role, by exploring their options for recovery or preventing them from deteriorating.
While I was studying, I volunteered for Stockport and District Mind and for the Samaritans. I also worked part-time as a Support Worker for The SLC Group, working with individuals who had learning disabilities, mental health issues and physical health issues.
Studying at MMU not only gave me the knowledge I would need, but also enabled me to discover which career path to pursue. There were events, lectures and modules regarding personal and career development. I found it especially useful and inspiring when two Trainee Clinical Psychologists spoke to us about their roles and experience. I feel my degree, volunteering and work experience all contributed to my professional development, assisting me in successfully gaining full-time employment.
I’m currently undertaking an MPhil in Clinical Psychology at the University of Manchester alongside my Trial Management role. I’m examining the relationship between the therapeutic alliance in psychotherapy and people’s suicidal experiences. I recently presented the findings from my systematic review at the World Congress for the International Association for Suicide Prevention. I’ve now got a first-author publication focussing upon a qualitative study looking at people’s experiences of mental health stigma. I am also a co-author on a couple of publications relating to a pilot study looking at the feasibility and acceptability of a Cognitive Behavioural Suicide Prevention therapy for people on mental health inpatient wards.
Get out there and gain some experience, whether that is as a volunteer or in a paid role. Also, try attending conferences that are relevant to your field of work, as they are a great place to network with other professionals while learning.
Dr David Holmes and Dr Andrew Stevenson, because they both had time for their students and gave engaging, thought provoking lectures. Dr Andrew Stevenson’s lectures sparked my interest in quantitative research methods and using statistics. In fact, all of the staff at MMU were encouraging and supportive of students.
My time at MMU enabled me to become independent, to self-motivate and develop in my career.