IN A DEMANDING job in crisis care, there’s no other focus than the delivery of a round-the-clock service.
Making time for individual training and development might seem like a dream – but that’s exactly what Tracey Cooper is achieving with her commitment to her Level 5 qualification in Leadership Management in Care with Progress to Excellence Ltd.
As the Service Manager of Richmond Fellowship's Boston Crisis House, Tracey and her team support people staying at the crisis house to achieve their individual goals and aspirations, helping them on the road to mental health recovery.
She said: “Crisis care is totally unpredictable. It’s a round-the-clock, seven days a week operation so there’s little chance of giving yourself specific times to devote to those vital studies.
“It’s really hard but sometimes I am able to fit in a large amount of work during an occasional quiet period but then I might go a couple of weeks without getting the chance to do any studies at all.
“However, my mind is set on getting the qualification so that it puts me in prime position to further the career that I love with Richmond Fellowship.
“This is my first job working in mental health and I am very happy here – it’s a very challenging environment to work in but the rewards are tremendous.”
At the Boston Crisis House, Tracey’s team consists of a senior practitioner, four full-time recovery workers and two part-time recovery workers who provide short-term crisis intervention to help people avoid having to be admitted to hospital.
During their week-long stay, individuals are provided with a place of support and safety during their mental health crisis and, with the support from the trained staff, are helped to develop personalised coping strategies and recovery management techniques. They are also given education about mental health support and are signposted to further services.
Tracey, who has worked for the crisis service for the past three years, joined the organisation with a background in training and employment as well as having worked in childcare and child protection.
As a qualified assessor herself, Tracey views the help she has received with her studies from Progress to Excellence Ltd assessor Maria Lawton as an integral part of her learning journey.
She said: "Since having Maria on board, my learning and development programme has been a smooth process. She has listened to my needs and worked with me so I could achieve the units I need to achieve the qualification.”