I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot of skills that I didn't have when I went into it. For a start, I have always struggled presenting but I had a lot of chances to give presentations during the placement. I gained a lot of confidence, a lot of skills and thoroughly enjoyed it.
My favourite part was meeting the clients, getting to know them and finding out what it was like to live with psychosis. It was very rewarding.
My dissertation is going to be based around what I was doing on my placement and I'm going to go back to visit Hillingdon and Harrow for my research. I'm going to investigate the discharge process from Early Intervention Services (EIS) to local doctors. My project will evaluate the service by looking at the views of clients and the discharge process, what the service was like and what the new service they receive from GPs is like.
I thought it would be another string to my bow. I know so many friends with degrees who are finding it hard in the job market, so I thought getting work experience while I'm young would be beneficial and maybe open up new pathways to me in careers I hadn't considered.
I've got a much clearer understanding of psychosis now. Initially I thought psychosis affects your intelligence, but that couldn't be further from the truth. It made me really look at myself, and I realised I shouldn't have prejudices about things I haven't experienced.
It's really helped me develop my independence and become more proactive too. I ran social groups for the clients and really enjoyed the role because I got to talk to the clients. I found it really easy to relate to them because they were of a similar age to me.
On my first day I went to a mental health ward for the first time with my supervisor and I was a bit scared. I had so many preconceptions about what to expect, but it was nothing like that at all. Obviously some people do pose a degree of risk and have more severe psychosis, but I always felt safe.
I'd certainly recommend other students do a placement. If you want to add more strings to your bow or find out what it's like to work in mental health setting then it's really worth it. It was a really inspirational experience and I'd definitely recommend it.
I'm certain that it has made me more employable. Looking at my CV now compared to what I had before, it looks much better and will make me much more employable. It really adds to my experiences and in interviews I can now easily talk about the skills I gained and the tasks I did. They're so broad too that they will be applicable to all kinds of jobs.