OTR Blogger | 3rd January 2017

OTR Life – Blog from a Mental Health Practitioner: Outreach Day

[Read previous blogs here and here]

Yep, I’m on my bike again!

It’s been super cold this week, but finally the sun is out and it gives me some inspiration on my cycle into East Bristol.


Today is my outreach day; I have a variety of outreach, office and hospital assessment days – it keeps me on my toes.

The best thing about working in the community is that we can be really flexible, today I am going to two schools and one home. Unlike mainstream mental health services, we are able to fit around school and important commitments. This way the young people can get the most out of the sessions, not miss out on school and feel more comfortable in the surroundings of their choice. Everyone should get some choice!

We try to work with parents, carers, teachers and other professionals to get a really good picture of whats going on and the best ways to support a young person. It can be really difficult working with someone if there are challenges elsewhere that we don’t know about, especially if those challenges are at home or in school because these should be stable and nurturing environments.

Part of working in the community does bring its challenges; for instance I don’t always know the space that I will be using. Most young people are really good at adapting to different times and places ,but changing spaces all the time can be tough! In the New Year I am going to look into creating therapeutic spaces in schools.

What would you like to see in nice welcoming room for sitting and chatting?

To be able to open up and build a relationship with someone else we have to create a warm environment. I’m visualising some bean bags, cushions, arts and crafts and perhaps some nice hot drinks, especially in winter!

Over at Inspiration Works we have created exactly that, they have lots of different rooms with paints and pastels to puppets and peppermint teas, and keep an eye out for Bernie the Whale!

Til next time 🙂