Graduates have key skills to enhance mental health care across the region

  • Date

    Fri 1 Apr 22

photo of two female graduates in robes outside on grass in front of  Essex University Library

Graduates working across different schools, care settings and other organisations in Essex were delighted to have the chance to finally come together to celebrate their achievements in completing the FdA/BA Therapeutic Communication and Therapeutic Organisations course.

With a 33% rise in referrals to specialist mental health services for UK pupils being reported by the NSPCC, a University of Essex course is equipping professionals in the fields of care, health and education with the therapeutic tools they urgently need.

The FdA/BA in Therapeutic Communication and Therapeutic Organisations is a course that attracts professionals already working and has given these graduates a better understanding of the mental health needs of their clients and how to offer the help that they need.

Gemma Prior chose to study the course as it fitted in with her work and family commitments. She said: “Studying Therapeutic Communications and Therapeutic Organisations was the best choice that I've made - the support from the department was fantastic and since graduating I have moved from working as a housing support officer to a role with the Council as an adviser in the children and families hub, advising on incoming referrals, working alongside social workers. I feel the course really helped me to understand my clients in a different way, and learnt new ways of supporting them, along with understanding my own mind and mental health when working with vulnerable clients.”

Another graduate, Victoria Beales, also shared her reasons for choosing this course of study: “I work at a school which caters for children and young adults who have special educational needs and disabilities. I thought the course would help me develop a better understanding of the unconscious processes that children, young adults and staff have and how this affects everyday life.

“I feel the course has given me greater understanding of people and how the conscious and unconscious works. It has allowed me to look below the surface and have a better therapeutic approach.”

Suzanne Duffy has a background in engineering and learning disability nursing. She also has three grown up children, six grandchildren and three foster children. She commented: “This course has proved invaluable, giving me the tools to understand childhood challenges and behaviour. I have worked for Affinity Fostering for many years who value the knowledge I have gained on this fascinating course. The modules themselves are led by excellent facilitators who are interesting, passionate, and generous with their knowledge.”

Dr Chris Tanner, Course Leader said: “The BA in Therapeutic Communications and Therapeutic Organisations is designed to help professionals develop their insight as reflective thinkers. We use observation workshops, lectures and practical sessions to explore how to best support people, both service users and colleagues, teaching therapeutic approaches and studying the dynamics of organisations.

“We are so proud of our graduates who have taken the skills they have gained with us to so many interesting and crucial roles in organisations around Essex and Suffolk – schools, care settings, HR roles in private companies as well as international agencies working with vulnerable people.”