At the end of April 2022, nursing student Catherine Watson, is travelling to London to meet a panel of judges, after being shortlisted for the Mental Health Student Nurse of the Year award in this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards.
Catherine, a fourth year undergraduate currently working on her dissertation for the final module of her programme, has undertaken placements in Falkirk Community Hospital (Woodlands Resource Centre and Older Adult Community Mental Health), Bellsdyke Hospital (Hope House) and Forth Valley Royal Hospital (Older Adult Psychiatric Liaison and Ward 5).
She has been nominated by the mental health nursing faculty at the University of Stirling and says she has chosen mental health nursing to provide compassion, care and consideration to those experiencing mental illness. She has also been inspired by her mother, a nurse for more than 30 years.
Catherine explained: “Throughout my studies, my interest has been most peaked by trauma-informed care and practice. Once completing my undergraduate programme, I wish to explore trauma-informed intervention and care. Particularly, I aspire to gain experience in early intervention through child and adolescent mental health services. Over time, I also wish to train in psychotherapeutic approaches such as art psychotherapy to provide holistic intervention, exploration, and support for those who have experiences with complex trauma.”
Catherine has already worked for several mental health charities and for her nomination had to demonstrate a number of qualities including acting as a role model for student nursing, interpersonal and communication skills with service users and their families, promoting and enabling social inclusion and working with compassion and empathy.
Some of this included giving public talks, attending events, and participating in a televised interview with Gail Porter as part of the Scottish Association for Mental Health’s (SAMH) See Me campaign.
NHS Forth Valley has also been shortlisted in the Student Placement of the Year community award category for student experience in the forensic mental health team and the University of Stirling has been shortlisted for the Teaching Innovation of the Year award for suicide prevention education for nursing students: practising skills, deepening knowledge and building confidence.
You can find out more about all of the finalists for this year’s Student Nursing Times Awards which takes place on 27th May 2022 here.