Why work in mental health?

Smiley face made out of limes

Smiley face made out of limes

The focus on Mental Health in the UK has grown exponentially in the last few years, and rightly so! The government, the NHS, charities, businesses, and education providers are responding by investing more and more in time, resources, research and funding. Yet underneath it all, there is still a huge demand for those working in and providing mental health and wellbeing services, with one in four adults and one in ten children experiencing mental illness.

With all that pressure, we wanted to find out ‘why work in mental health?’

We’ve asked some of the speakers for our ‘Explore Careers in Mental Health 2019’ event why they work in mental health and what they most enjoy about it. Here’s what they had to say…

Why do you work in the mental health field and what do you enjoy about it?

“I am interested in mind-body connection and the interplay between our physical and mental health. As a clinical psychologist, I am trained to work with people to support their mental health and I chose to specialise in the area of chronic physical illness. This has enabled me to help bridge the gap between physical and mental health. I enjoy working with medical teams and patients and exploring the impact that physical health has on emotional well-being and visa versa. I love that I can work directly to improve the well-being of patients through therapy and also indirectly by consultation and training of other professionals.” Naomi Middleton, Clinical Psychologist, Gastroenterology, Pelvic Floor and Chronic Pain services.

people holding hands supportively


“As PWPs, we both enjoy working in mental health because no day is ever the same; whether you are running a group, out in the community, or delivering one to one treatment sessions. The job will always keep you on your toes and you will never stop learning. Most importantly, supporting an individual to make positive change in their life is truly rewarding and it makes all the hard work worth it!” –- Hayley Scott & Charlotte Allard, Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners and Clinical Educators, Charlie Waller Institute, University of Reading


“What I find really rewarding about being a mental health social worker is that you get to work with people to give them a voice and to ensure that they feel empowered in their own lives. You get to support people to create real change – whether that’s to do with housing, benefits, friendships or just feeling confident enough to go on a bus or sit in a coffee shop. To me it’s a real privilege being able to support people in that way.” –- Think Ahead programme participant.

Find more stories from Social Workers and the people they support at Think Ahead.

It would seem, the mental health field is a highly interesting and rewarding choice for a future career and it will be even more important in the next few years.people holding hands supportively

We would like to take the time to remind all students that the University of Reading offers a Counselling and Wellbeing service to all students. If you feel that you, or someone you know, needs support please get in touch, or direct them to the service.
If you would prefer to talk to someone anonymously or not go through the Counselling and Wellbeing service, Togetherall is a free online support community that you can access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you are in an immediate crisis, or an emergency situation, please call 999.
If you are experiencing an urgent concern about your mental health, please call the Berkshire NHS Crisis number on 0300 365 0300; they are available 24/7. You can find a list of other useful contact numbers here.
The Chaplaincy is also available to support all students.