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“You don’t realise how much impact you have.”

Impact Story – Stacie,  ACE’s Primary Mental Health Worker

Stacie is one of ACE’s Primary Mental Health Worker’s, her role is funded through the NHS, Cardiff & Vale Health board ‘Tier 0’ service.   The service is the first point of contact for people who have been referred by their GP, who need some form of mental health support.

Sitting with Stacie in the Consulting Room, upstairs at the Canna Surgery in Canton, we talk about how much the service is needed, and Stacie shows me the calendar for appointments. Each of her working days are fully booked, with little space between appointments. This is one of seven surgeries that Stacie is based at. I’m taken aback by the level of need this shows.

Stacie describes her role as supporting people using a self-reflective, Cognitive behavioural Therapy approach, “I actively listen, guide and take people through the self-help books”.  Stacie will use Self-Evaluation and Star Recovery Sheets, to help patients choose a workbook.  Patients can choose from a list of 10 workbooks, including Assertiveness, Health Anxiety, Depression, Self Esteem and Panic. Over 4-8 weeks each patient goes through modules in the workbook, they talk with Stacie, reflecting on what they have learned.

As Stacie describes “It helps people to see their problems, understand them, and manage them by changing the way they think and behave.”

At the end of the sessions, patients are taken through an evaluation, a before and after process, which is where patients can see and understand the improvements they have made.  People are usually shocked about how much they have achieved for themselves.

Despite Stacie’s role being very demanding she is extremely proud of her work, “I meet so many interesting people, from all walks of life. I’m constantly surprised at the resilience of individuals. The challenge is to support them to examine their emotions and understand why they are feeling the way they do, to help them realise how far they have come, and to provide a focus for the future. I’m so proud of them, It shows the job is worthwhile”.

For further information on ACE’s Tier 0 service please contact…. Carly Whelpley Tel: 029 20003132

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