​Introducing Jimmy's Mental Health Practitioner Bea!

Why did you decide to come to work at Jimmy’s?
I’d been working for a large homelessness charity in London for a number of years, and when I saw the Jimmy’s vacancy come up, I was super excited about the prospect of working for a smaller organisation with the opportunity to make real change by creating a new mental health service.

What are your initial impressions on Jimmy’s? What do you hope to achieve in the role?
So far, I’ve been so inspired by the dedication of support staff at Jimmy’s towards our residents – particularly their willingness to take time out of their day to just listen to our residents when they need it; staff are never too busy when a resident’s in need which is so nice to see. I also love the fact that we allow our residents to keep pets! During my first week there was a Jack Russell staying at our hostel which made me feel very welcome.

I’m so passionate about the importance of mental health treatment for people with experience of homelessness. All too often, mental health support services aren’t set up for the people we work with – fixed appointments in fixed locations and if you miss one you go right back to the bottom of the waiting list. I see a large part of my new role with Jimmy’s as advocating for our clients to be given mental health support in a way that works for them. I also hope to be able to support clients with their mental health myself directly, by providing regular 1-to-1 early intervention sessions, as well as group wellbeing sessions.

Tell us a bit about you and the work you did before now.
Professionally, I’m extremely interested in the impacts of trauma on people’s mental health. An overwhelming percentage of people who find themselves homeless have at some point in their life experienced trauma. Often, the reason people use substances or alcohol is as a way of self-medicating from the after-effects of this trauma. I feel very strongly that anyone I work with who has experienced trauma should have access to long-term, trauma-informed mental health support, which is something I hope to push for in my work with Jimmy’s residents.

What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I have 3 dogs who keep me on my toes! At the weekend, I love nothing more than taking them for long walks or spending a few hours snuggled up on the sofa with them watching Gilmore Girls. I also love music, and before Covid hit I would regularly go to live gigs. I’ve got my first post-pandemic tickets booked to see my favourite band, The Cribs, soon, and I’m very excited!