Today’s blog brings to light an exciting career path in mental health. Read on as Educational Mental Health Practitioner and podcaster Cristina Eddo talks about combining her passions into her job.
This time three years ago, I had just come back from my graduation holiday and was about to head off to New York for my second getaway. I wondered what a degree in Psychology and Sociology would allow me to achieve, but I was confident that helping people is what I wanted to do.
My job experience before my dream job
I started off by working in a mental health hospital as a support worker immediately after I finished my course at Aston University. I then moved on to be an outreach worker in an educational alternative provision.
Whilst the two jobs helped me to discover a genuine interest and passion for mental health, I also felt that I needed to equip myself with practical tools to effectively support young people who struggled with their mental health. So, when I saw a postgraduate diploma in 2019 that read “educational mental health practice“, to me it was a no brainer.
My role as an Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP)
I still remember my excitement when my current manager called me to give me the good news: “Cristina we are offering you the position, we think you will be fantastic!”. The rest is history!
I have never enjoyed studying so much. When I started the course at King’s, I promised myself that this learning experience would have been different. All of a sudden, reading articles, writing essays and answering questions during lectures was not as difficult or anxiety-provoking as during my undergraduate. I now know that it was because I found my passion, my job!
I am now a qualified educational mental health practitioner. Yes, a little bit of a mouthful! This is how I like to describe my role:” It is not a mere Monday to Friday type of job. This is a role that allows me to reach young people, families and schools through workshops and low-intensity interventions around anxiety, depression and challenging behaviour. The aim is to give people the tools to gain resilience so as to prevent their problems from deteriorating.” Remember the tools that I wanted to learn? Yes! I am now teaching them to others- the irony of life!
Interested in diving deeper to career paths within mental health? Head over to our KEATS pages and read our Sector Guides!
Not just a job, but a passion!
I am passionate about what I do and my knowledge gained through work and university has allowed me to deliver psychoeducational workshops on mental health even outside of my work settings. You are probably asking me how? Well, I have been approached by different companies and individuals on LinkedIn with the request of educating them on what mental health is and tips to manage it. I always feel very honoured when I receive these requests- it reiterates that all the hard work spent through my years at university is being valued!
My personal development
Another aspect that my job has allowed me to discover is my love for public speaking!
Through my time as an EMHP I have delivered many workshops to different audiences and realised that I could easily become a speaker as a full time job- I just love it! So, in 2020, as the pandemic unfolded, I took the bold step of starting my very own Podcast: Cristina’s talk show! Saying that I love recording and inviting guests on the show is an understatement! It is my self-care treat, my hobby and new found passion!
Reflection time: If you told me three years ago that I would be a practitioner, own a podcast and would be approached on LinkedIn several times… I would definitely ask: how!? But here I am, absolutely loving what I do.
Some advice to my young self and yourself:
If I could go back in time, this is what I would tell my younger self: find a job that gives you continual opportunities for you to grow beyond the workplace. Find a job that helps you to discover yourself. Find a job that helps you enjoy life even more… in other words, find your genuine passion!
I could probably add even more, but I think this will do for now. I wish you all the very best, and whatever pathway you decide to take, I would like you to consider these final words: it may take some time to discover or find the job for you- that does not mean that it does not exist or that you are not going to get it. Never stop believing in your potential, there is someone out there who can see it and who is ready to mould it into excellence.
Written by Cristina Eddo,
Educational Mental Health Practitioner and Podcaster