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It Shouldn’t Happen to a Student Mental Health Nurse-or Should It?

My name is Laura and I’m a second year Student Mental Health Nurse on my month-long elective placement. I chose to come back home to Leeds for this placement. The city has so much to offer in terms of experiences in health promotion.

I am so passionate about mental health. The degree I’m doing has helped me find the career path I would like – psychotherapy. I love nursing, but it’s the one-to-one time with patients I love the most.

It didn’t take me long to choose a placement. Phoenix Health and Wellbeing immediately ticked all the boxes I wanted to see; holistic health, counselling, and complementary therapies. I was welcomed by the loveliest team of people and straight away got right into work.

Week 1

Normally it takes me quite a while to get used to a placement, but pretty much by day one I was fully settled. This week was spent getting to know the people here – a wide range of masseuses, counsellors, acupuncturists, aromatherapists… you name it. I made a plan of what I’m going to do while I’m here. Since this is my health promotion placement, I am using blog writing (like this one) to do this. I’ve written down a long list of topics I’m going to cover in blogs, and booked in a couple of sessions of different therapies to experience and review.

Week 2

Really stuck in now – I have published a couple of blogs and I’ll be getting my first treatment to review this week. I’ve begun organising an event for the end of the month, and I’ve gone for a picnic held right here at Phoenix Health & Wellbeing to celebrate National Picnic Week. It will be a chance for clients (and anyone else!) to come in, get to know each other and have a nibble and a natter. I’m also going to a Mental Health conference this week. It’s being held just around the corner! This is the great thing about working in central Leeds; there are so many great opportunities for me to really enhance my experience of public health promotion.

Week 3

It’s week 3 and I already feel like a member of the team who’s been here for years. I’m learning more and more about holistic therapies by interviewing therapists and even clients, doing my research and writing blogs about them. I tried aromatherapy last week. This week, the treatment of choice was Reiki. Something I know nothing about, didn’t know what to expect, and had an interesting experience. It’s hard to believe there’s only one week left, even as a student I’ve been busy every day with a focus on helping the brand and my own practise.

Week 4

It’s my last week of placement! And what a fast mental health nursing placement it has been. I have learnt so much being here, I’ve really had the opportunity to broaden my knowledge of complementary therapies and mental health issues. This is something I’ll be taking with me in my last two placements at Uni and eventually when I am fully qualified. Last week, I tried acupuncture for my symptoms of IBS, which I can confirm have had amazing results for me! I’ve written a blog of my experience which will be published soon. Watch this space! I am very lucky to have worked with such an incredibly experienced bunch of people. They have been more than happy to get me involved. I really feel as though I have made the most of my elective placement and I’ll be very sad to leave such a lovely, welcoming place! Hopefully I’ll be back in a years time for my Masters!


Phoenix Health and Wellbeing is a Leeds based charity and social enterprise that offers support to people who have chronic health issues and low incomes.  We fund our charitable work by:

  • offering counselling and complementary therapy treatments to full fee paying clients,
  • massaging in the workplace,
  • giving talks about stress management
  • renting out our treatment rooms and meeting room to other healthcare providers.

The proceeds of all of these activities are then directed into our charity pot.  For more information about our unique organisation follow this LINK