Thu 19 Jan 23
Second year student mental health nurse Soneika (Sunny) Atkinson has become one of the Nursing Times’ student editors for this academic year.
Sunny, who has been writing for The Nursing Times for a year, wants her articles to be able to represent, support, and motivate other student nurses like herself, speaking from her own experiences on topics which have impacted her and how she has dealt with them.
She began blogging before coming to study at Essex, when she was a dental nurse, and wanted to continue to be able to speak about her experience as a student on placement.
“Mental health is a very important topic which is why I am keen to write about it and promote it,” explained Sunny. “My cultural background from Jamaica unfortunately does not acknowledge mental health, and there's so much stigma associated with mental health. I wanted to understand more about mental health so I could help others get treatment.”
The Nursing Times is a national monthly magazine and website which supports nurses and includes a student-dedicated section filled with content produced by students.Sunny has also been selected to be a part of the 150 student leaders 2022 cohort. She is currently working on her student leadership programme project, which focuses the issue of how individuals coming into hospital with mental health issues are more likely to have dental issues.
She said she has always felt supported by the University. “You have a voice, you’re acknowledged, you’re listened to, and people are always there to support you. They are amazing when it comes to student support.”
This article was written by third year Media and Digital Culture student Amber Gent.