Faces of Baptcare # 24: Ashlin Williams - Baptcare Mental Health Practitioner

What does a standard day involve as a Mental Health Practitioner?

Every day is different which is one of the things I enjoy about this role. I work with individuals to set goals around their mental health recovery. These goals are often varied and expansive. Once the goals are set, then we work towards achieving them. This can include exploring various strategies to manage overwhelming emotions with people, encouragement to incorporate strategies into people’s everyday lives, providing resources and information, advocacy and liaising with other services. No two days are the same which definitely keeps things interesting.

Did you always want to work in the mental health space?

I always wanted to be a social worker and it was during my university studies that I discovered my interest in the mental health sector.

What do you like most about your job?

Having the ability and the opportunity to provide individuals with the support that they need to empower themselves and make a positive difference in their day to day lives.

If someone asked you the top 3 things that are important for good mental health, what would you say?

There are so many things that are important for good mental health but if I must narrow it down, here’s my top 3:

  1. Space: People need to have a space where they feel safe being vulnerable.
  2. Trust: in order to make positive and lasting changes as a practitioner, a high level of trust and respect needs to be reciprocated by both the individual wanting to make changes and their practitioner.
  3. Self-care: It may sound obvious, but self-care is so important for literally everyone. Practitioners, clients, families, carers, friends – the importance of self-care should never be underestimated.

Do you have a motto in life, or a favourite saying?

To quote the amazing Audrey Hepburn – ‘Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being’s suffering. Not a career, not wealth, not intelligence. Certainly not status. We have to feel for one another if we’re going to survive with dignity.’

What is something surprising about yourself that people may not know?

I have every episode of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ on DVD.

If you could give advice to your teenage self, what would it be?

Your mistakes don’t define you.

Why do you think weeks like Mental Health Week are important?

They create conversations. Conversations assist in the de-stigmatisation of mental health and re-writing the preconceived societal narrative of mental health and wellbeing. If Mental Health Week encourages even one person who is experiencing difficulties to reach out for some support, then that’s a win.