Julie Kirby

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There’s so much you can do to help young people in crisis and you can prevent so much more from happening later on

Julie Kirby,
Home Treatment Team Leader, Kent

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Julie's Story

I’m lucky to be part of a close, resilient and caring team. I’m proud of them every day. We’ve been through an exceptionally busy period recently and yet I can still walk in and see smiles and hear laughter.

All that matters to our team at the end of the day is that young people are safe. Nothing ever fazes them, they just keep going. Making a difference is what it’s all about. Something that seems small to us makes a big difference to a young person at risk. That’s why I do this.

Sussex Partnership took over our area four years ago and I have helped to develop this service and this team, which we launched in February 2014. We were anxious about the change at first, but it has been so positive. I’ve been able to develop really well and I’m now team leader.

Sharing of ideas is openly encouraged and Sussex Partnership have pioneered so many new initiatives on this basis. With their support I organised some conference days to help A&E staff learn how to help young people who arrive at A&E in acute mental crisis. The programme has since been adopted across Kent and Medway. I’m immensely proud of it. I’m now signing up for a leadership course. I want to stay in this field and with Sussex Partnership and continue to develop our services. It’s my ideal career and I feel like there is always future potential.

Keeping families together

We manage crisis. Everyone we see is different, they may be actively suicidal or severely self-harming, have an eating disorder or experience psychotic episodes. We go out to see them, to get them from one day to the next and we do our utmost to try to keep families together and avoid hospital admission. There’s so much you can do to help young people in crisis and you can prevent so much more from happening later on.

When you see a young person get over a crisis at home and away from hospital, it’s really rewarding. Then we’ve done it, that family is still together.