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An insight into the role of a Mental Health Nurse

Oakwood Hall is currently recruiting Registered Mental Health Nurses.

Oakwood Hall is a dual registered nursing and residential care home that supports people to develop new skills, gain independence and take an active part in working towards their recovery. As a Mental Health Nurse you will support adults with significant mental health needs not easily met by other services.

To learn more about this role, read on as we caught up with Dakota Scollen, Team Leader at Oakwood Hall.

Tell us about your experience working at Oakwood Hall.
I first came to Oakwood Hall as a Student Nurse on placement but enjoyed it so much that I returned as soon as I qualified. I have worked here since 2019, however, have since had the opportunity to progress and am currently on secondment as Team Leader.

I feel very privileged to work so closely with people, helping them to reach their goals and take positive steps which they can be proud of. We have the opportunity to make a real difference every single day and that’s what makes the job so rewarding.

What does your team of Mental Health Nurses do?
Mental Health Nurses are responsible for shift co-ordination, ensuring the safe and smooth running of the service, medication management and supervising other members of the team.

We focus on building therapeutic relationships, working collaboratively to identify key areas of development and provide support around emotional, mental, and physical health.

We work together with a range of multi-disciplinary teams and develop support plans focusing on things like daily living skills, meaningful activity, crisis risk management and coping strategies. We support people who have dual diagnosis and empower them to engage with treatment, prevention, and intervention.

No two days are the same and there are always new opportunities to learn and develop.

What advice would you give to someone interested in becoming a mental health nurse?
There are several qualities that I believe are essential to have if you are considering becoming a Mental Health Nurse, for example…

  • A caring nature – Showing kindness and compassion is integral to building positive relationships where people can feel safe.
  • Being non-judgemental – It is important that people feel they can approach you and have honest conversations without fear of judgement.
  • Patience – Everyone’s journey is unique and recovery is not always linear, therefore it is important to approach situations in a calm, understanding and person-centred manner.
  • Good communication and active listening skills – We need to ensure that people feel as though their voices are heard and include them in all aspects of their care.
  • Problem solving skills – The ability to be adaptable and think creatively to achieve the best outcomes when problems arise is key.

My advice would be to never lose sight of what inspired you to choose this career, keep service users at the heart of everything you do and remember that it’s so important to look after yourself too.

We also spoke to Olivia Harvey, who has been a mental health nurse at Oakwood Hall for six months:

What inspired you to become a Mental Health Nurse?
I have always enjoyed caring for people, so I knew I wanted to go into a clinical profession, but I later realised that there are so many people who suffer with mental illness day-to-day.

What inspired you to work at Oakwood Hall?
I came here on a placement when I was a second-year student, and the staff team here made a huge positive impression on me!

What is your favourite thing about your role and why?
I enjoy interacting with residents, especially when involved in meaningful activities. I love seeing residents doing things they enjoy and it makes me happy when I can be a part of that.

Have you always worked in this sector?
This is my first job in this sector as I am newly qualified but when studying, I realised that rehabilitation is the sector most suited to me.

What would you say are the top five skills needed to work as a mental health nurse? Compassionate, good listener, team player, passionate, working within boundaries.


If you are now feeling inspired and would like to learn more about the Mental Health Nurse role and how to apply, you can view the live vacancy here.

Community Links is part of the Inspire North Group. Inspire North is a not for profit parent organisation of Community Links, Foundation and subsidiaries. We provide mental health and housing support across the North of England.

You can view all our current vacancies on our Careers page.