Charles Dickens said “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.”


Helping others

I have dedicated my career to helping others, my mum was the most amazing nurse, my sister too and my brother in law was the nurse that led me into the mental health field.They all helped so many people but also helped me to be able to help others, so without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love.

I often wonder what makes people choose the careers they do, without a doubt I was always destined to be a nurse, although didn’t opt for the mental health specialism until the ‘last minute’. I haven’t regretted it and have felt very fortunate that I have been allowed into people’s lives, granted access to their innermost thoughts and feelings, working with people at their most vulnerable.

Why do I want to help others but more especially children?

I was a very shy kid, who felt invisible most of the time, not because I wasn’t loved or cared for, but because I was so emotional.  I just didn’t know how to make sense of my thoughts and feelings. Adolescence wasn’t very pleasant, I had a tough time at secondary school but didn’t share my experience with anyone at the time, as I was too ashamed. My brothers and sisters all knew how to stick up for themselves, but I didn’t inherit their assertive gene so couldn’t stand up to the bullies.

I don’t want any kid to go through what I went through or to ever feel like they don’t have a place in this world. We teach kids to read and write but we don’t teach kids to recognise, understand and deal with emotions.Maybe if I had that knowledge then, I would have been more resilient and able to handle those difficult times and not spend years believing I was as worthless as I allowed those bullies to make me feel!

What do I get from helping others? Is all the hype about the benefits true?

In a word, YES. As a child, I witnessed how my Mum ‘glowed’ while she was working and totally get that now.

Some people get their buzz from adrenaline, the gym, booze, I get mine from helping people. I’m by no means Mother Theresa and am nowhere near as kind or altruistic as my Mum, but I like the warm feeling I have when I help others. When ever I doubt the power of helping  I think of my favourite movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” (we often underestimate the role we have in other’s lives) and this story says it all!

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