An Exclusive Interview With Dr. Nadia Correia: A Dedicated Mental Health Specialist

Dr. Nadia Correia, a Mental Health and Forensic Services Registered Manager, is making a significant impact in the field of mental health. With a decade of experience in mental health settings both in the United Kingdom and abroad, Dr. Nadia has become a respected figure in her profession. Currently, she holds the position of Area Manager for Supported Living Services, where she oversees the operations of seven male units and one female unit that provide support to individuals diagnosed with complex mental health and forensic backgrounds.

Dr. Nadia’s journey into mental health began with a focus on clinical psychology, mental health, forensics, and psychiatry. In addition to her expertise in these areas, she holds a degree in law, which gives her a unique perspective when it comes to understanding the legal aspects of mental health. This interdisciplinary knowledge allows her to approach her work from multiple angles and provide comprehensive care to her patients.

One of Dr. Nadia’s strengths lies in her ability to lead and support her team effectively. By drawing on her years of experience, she empowers her staff to deliver the best possible care and support to their patients. Dr. Nadia is a firm believer in utilizing resources such as Recovery Action Plans to guide the treatment process. She also promotes an integrative mental health approach that takes into account the physical, psychological, and social aspects of a person’s well-being. By incorporating health-promoting lifestyle changes into her practice, she strives to improve the overall quality of life for her patients.

Dr. Nadia’s dedication and exceptional work have not gone unnoticed. Recently, she was nominated as one of the five finalists for the Mental Health Specialist Award at the Health and Social Care Awards in the UK. This recognition speaks volumes about her commitment to her profession and the positive impact she has made on the lives of those she serves.

As a Mental Health and Forensic Services Registered Manager, Dr. Nadia Correia continues to be a shining example of excellence in the field of mental health. Through her expertise, experience, and compassionate approach, she is making a significant difference in the lives of individuals facing complex mental health challenges. Her nomination for the Mental Health Specialist Award is a testament to her outstanding contributions and dedication to her patients and the wider community.

What motivated you to specialize in Clinical, Mental Health, Forensics, and Psychiatry, along with having a degree in Law?

Psychiatry and Psychology are great careers, uniquely requiring an understanding of a patient’s brain, body and background. I would urge anyone  deciding which specialty to settle on to choose psychiatry or clinical psychology. In relation to my degree in law I believe that this achievement helped me to provide the framework for cooperation in many fields of international relations including gaining more knowledge surrounding Human Rights which has been beneficial to my career in mental health.

Could you explain the concept of Recovery Action Plans and how they are utilized in your practice?

The recovery Action Plan  is a tool that can aid an individual’s recovery and its underpinning principles support the recovery approach. This approach  is a way of monitoring wellness, times of being less well and times when experiences are uncomfortable and distressing. It also includes details of how an individual would like others to support them at these different times.

 How do you incorporate an integrative mental health approach that looks at the physical, psychological, and social aspects of care?

Integrative Mental health is broadly defined as an approach to medicine that takes the whole person into consideration and involves the development of a multi-faceted treatment plan, incorporating all appropriate treatments that may include lifestyle modifications, complementary medicine and conventional treatments. If you are diagnosed with more than one mental illness, the first step is working with your healthcare provider. A provider may want you to try several therapies – potentially, a combination of medication, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), support group therapy, high-impact cardio exercise, yoga and/or meditation.

What qualities do you believe are essential for a mental health specialist in providing high-quality care to individuals with complex needs?

Empathy and understanding are critical skills that will make all the difference within a career in mental health. These ideas relate to the ability to understand what a person is experiencing, and the feelings that they are experiencing as a result. It is also important to have good interpersonal skills and being trustworthy, flexible, hopeful/optimistic, culturally sensitive, and self-aware.

In your opinion, what are some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in the field of mental health and forensic services today?

The biggest challenge is the lack of resources within the community setting leading to an increase risk of realise in patients with a long history of hospital admissions under mental health care act. Delivering the best possible support and care, typically closer to their own communities, means better patient experience and outcomes. Savings realised can be reinvested in meeting growing demand and more innovative, community-based services.

In transforming services for forensic patients, we should be setting specific objectives including:

introducing consistent care pathways and protocols, repatriating 150 patients over five years,

reducing new forensic referrals placed out of area,

introducing a shared-bed management system to make best use of our capacity and ensure south London patients can better access south London beds, investing in new services and enhanced facilities in the community to further increase step-down and rehabilitation rates, and reduce lengths of stay, taking a system-wide view to ensure patients are supported to move into less restrictive settings, establishing a small, central operational hub including a clinical team to review and assess out-of-area patients and manage new forensic referrals.

How does it feel to be nominated as a finalist for the Health and Social Care Awards UK in the category of “The Mental Health Specialist Award”?

The fact that someone has taken the time to nominate me for an award implies an intention or desire to see me recognised. This in itself is important, makes me feel proud, it also helps me figure out what I do well and why so that I can carry on doing it and use it to shape my career for the better.

What do you believe sets you apart from other nominees?

One of the reasons that I think I deserve the award is because of the hard work that I put in. I am a passionate person at heart and whatever I do I do to the best of my capability. I do not leave any stone unturned when I want to achieve something. However, it’s important to note that all the finalists are amazing and that it’s rewarding to see so many people doing so much for the community.

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