Portsmouth High School’s Year 12 Psychology students continued to embrace guided home learning with an online visit from Mr Iorwerth John, a psychiatric nurse currently on the community mental health team specialising in psychosis and schizophrenia. Mr John is involved in the planning, assessment, and evaluation of mental health care and supports many patients through rehabilitation and individual recovery.
The girls have just started the clinical and mental health topic in their A Level course and have been evaluating mental health care today (care in the community) and the care given in the asylums of the past.
Mr John talked about his training in one of the old Victorian asylums and how changes, and the formation of the NHS, led to increased community care today. The girls found it interesting that patients in the asylums were referred to as ‘inmates’ and today patients are referred to as ‘service users’, leading to an interesting discussion about society and its acceptance of the mentalIy ill.
Mr John said:
‘It is really beneficial to talk to young people about mental health, how common it is and how far we have come in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. But there is still a lot of work to do. Young people today are much more proactive in challenging the treatments of the past and helping to raise awareness of mental health.’
‘It was really interesting to hear about Mr John’s experience as a mental health nurse,’ said Ella in Year 12. ‘The beginning of his career took place during a key time for mental health services in the UK as the traditional ‘asylums’ were closed down, and the treatment for mental disorders was developing into what we are more familiar with today, care in the community. He spoke about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which gives a tiered list of a person’s needs that should be met, with some needs being prioritised over others that are less essential. Mr John said that this was the basis for his training and the first thing that he was taught. We learnt that even though the job can be emotionally demanding and difficult, the chance to improve others’ lives is what makes it worthwhile. His job is just one of the many careers possible when you study psychology.’
Head of Sixth Form, Mr Rob Smith, added:
‘Our sixth form girls have fully embraced an extensive and innovative provision of online guided home learning during lockdown. Today’s example in year 12 psychology is just one of the many creative and enriching learning experiences our students have been offered whilst learning from home. Adding to other examples such as online Geography field studies and online book clubs.’