Promoting positive Mental Health during COVID19
Early in the course year, I saw the BDA’s specialist group advertise the “Student Officer” position, and despite not knowing how I could add to this role, I felt I wanted to be innovative and gain all experiences during this course. I’ve such interest in a variety of areas within Dietetics such as weight management, older adults and sports nutrition but I can’t wait to get more experience on my B placement in September. WHY promote mental health, you might ask? Well I’ve been a qualified Mental Health nurse for five years, having worked full-time in the Republic of Ireland and Scotland. My background is something I’m proud of and feel it has benefited me hugely for this course, as many skills are transferable. On reflection, I wish I did some more innovative work as the student officer whilst being at the University, but it’s something I hope to avail of in the future with any chances that arise.
I had absolutely no idea how I could get productive in this role. I wished to be productive within the role, so I asked could I create a document to support student Dietitians manage their mental health during the pandemic. The group were so supportive, and I really enjoyed seeing how adaptive and productive they all were being during the pandemic. I had spoken to or saw that so many people had mentioned their struggles in adapting to the new norm. I felt that providing a supportive document might help those who need it. Excitingly, the link for the booklet is available on the BDA’s website.
My second piece of work was to do a fundraiser for the Mental Health Foundation by completing their “Take Action Get Active” challenge in May, involving the positivity of keeping active on your mental health which resulted in raising over £300. I’ve done fundraising for mental health services since a Student Nurse by volunteering or doing fundraisers! I’ll be looking to recruit fellow RD2Be’s / Dietitians for next year’s fundraiser!!
I’d like to thank all the nurses I have worked alongside so far, the BDA Mental Health Specialist Group and all at the School of Clinical and Applied Sciences at Leeds Beckett University for the support and opportunities you’ve given me so far.
BSc (Hons) in Psychiatric Nursing
PgDip in Food, Nutrition and Health
MSc Dietetics student