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Michael’s Story: From corporate finance to community mental health

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I’m in my thirties and I’ve lived in Manchester for 10 years, but I’m originally from the Lake District. My previous work was for The Bank of New York, so I used to work in corporate finance and was working my way up the corporate ladder there.

Post-pandemic I reassessed what was really important in life, and it was at that point I started to consider the possibility of  working in mental health. Then in January of this year I just quit my job.

I’ve certainly had mental health ups and downs in the past, although nothing too serious. In my 20’s, working in corporate finance, I thought I had it all figured out and then the lockdowns happened, and it gave me the chance to have a re-think about the purpose of my life. I realised that I wanted to be happy, and to try and make as many other people as possible as happy as they can be.

Working for the bank I was very rundown and stressed out working 50-hour weeks and it was quite nice to quit my job and kind of re-group in my early thirties and realise what I want to do for the next few years. That’s when I got the job with Manchester Mind and now I’m working with the NHS Community Mental Health Team, and its great!

The NHS Community Mental Health Team provide clinical care to people in Manchester who suffer with severe mental health issues. This can be in the form of clinical staff, nurses psychiatrists, social workers and support staff.

My role involves answering a lot of calls from patients wanting to know when their appointments are or wanting to speak to a clinical member of staff. As well as a lot of updating the systems and filling out administration-based paperwork for clinicians.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the role is being part of the process of getting people the support they need. Then later that day, or in a couple of days’ time, or even a couple of weeks’ time, speaking to that person again on the phone and them saying they’re much more stable or feeling much happier, you never get tired of hearing that.

The role is all about collaboration. What I hated about corporate finance was you’re just a tiny cog in this massive machine. Whereas here, on the NHS Community Mental Health Team you feel like you’re a really important part of something and genuinely making a difference to people’s lives

Money is really not everything, if you have job satisfaction that’s great, but from someone coming from a finance background into mental health services I find this much more fulfilling. And my life is so much better for it.


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