Brechin mental health nurse “huge asset” to practice

Amy McKenzie
Amy McKenzie

A mental health and wellbeing nurse has said her post at Brechin Health Centre is “worthwhile and rewarding”.

Since last August, Amy McKenzie, an experienced mental health nurse, has been working at Brechin Health Centre two days per week helping to assess patients who present with distress, mental illness or substance misuse issues. Amy is also part of the local community mental health team.

Amy has provided over 500 appointments since she started and the success of the service has generated interest both locally and nationally, with the service being showcased at the NHS Scotland Conference in June.

Amy said: “This new post based within practice is so worthwhile and rewarding. I am seeing adults of all ages, but predominantly those aged between 16 and 55.

“People I see can be referred to me by any of the practice team, including the reception staff, who will often signpost patients to me who are looking for support with emotional health and wellbeing issues.

“There are many reasons for people requiring support, with anxiety and depression being the most common causes. People also often contact us when they are having challenging life events and either have no one available to support them or recognise they require some professional support.

“Being able to provide prompt support is often all that is required but I can refer people on for further service input if that is required, for example, helping carers by referring them to the Angus Carers Centre.

“It is great to work so closely with the practice team. I attend the practice meetings and get the chance to contribute to discussions about patients’ care as well as raising any concerns or sharing relevant information with the wider team.”

Lead GP Dr Robert Mellish commented: “Amy is a huge asset to the clinical team in the practice. We are all learning so much from having her expertise available in the practice.

“We feel patients are getting an appropriate and prompt response at times of real distress, which we know is much appreciated. Not only are we providing an enhanced service to patients at practice level, but we know this service has significantly reduced the rate of referrals to wider mental health speciality services.”