Job title: Social worker, Asian community
mental health team, Coventry Teaching Primary Care Trust.
How long in the job? Eight years.
Career highlight: When a patient made a full
recovery from a phobia.
Career lowpoint: Frustration at lack of
Over the course of my career I wish I had:
Travelled more and experienced more diverse cultures and
I aspire to: Continue with the work I’m doing
but as a consultant, specialising in cultural practices, beliefs
and mental illness in diverse communities.
The most painful lesson I’ve learned at work
is: Not to impose my own values and judgements.
Me and my career: I am part of an Asian
community mental health team that includes community psychiatric
nurses and support staff.
We work with south Asian patients with long-term mental illness
and their families.
We commission services, working with statutory and voluntary
organisations, and run support groups for patients and carers. We
take referrals from GPs and consultants and conduct assessments in
clients’ first language, avoiding jargon and misunderstandings
which could lead to the wrong diagnosis. Within our team we speak
Punjabi, Gujerati, Hindi and Urdu.
We perform crisis intervention work, set up case conferences and
review meetings, as well as accompany patients to hospital
appointments and attend ward rounds. We work closely with families
to help them understand mental illness and with fellow
professionals to raise awareness.
2000-now: Social worker, Asian community mental
health team, Coventry Teaching Primary Care Trust.
1996-2000: Asian mental health social worker,
1994-96: Diploma in social work, Birmingham
1994: Volunteer advice worker, Citizens Advice