Colse Leungnews

Bristol mental health staff become 'living books'

Colse Leungnews
Bristol mental health staff become 'living books'

Nurses, psychologists and therapists have become "living books" to give the public a chance to talk to mental health staff and find out what they do.

Visitors to Bristol Central Library were able to "borrow" staff from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health for "open and informal" 15-minute conversations.

Clinical psychologist Dr Sian Clark said she would offer insight into the support for mental health difficulties.

Visitors could browse a catalogue and book slots with the "human books".

Occupational therapist Katherine Godfrey said it was the third time she had been a "living book" and said the event helped to "demystify" mental healthcare professionals. She said: "It's a different way of relating to people - it gives people an opportunity to talk to healthcare professionals when there's not necessarily anything wrong with them."

Lizzie Martin has just moved from London to Yate, near Bristol. She said she was about to start a new job as a nurse once her maternity leave finished. She "borrowed" medical nurse Mooi Tay to find out more about the hospital where she would be working.

Ms Martin said: "I'm also a nurse and about to start a new job, so I've come to pick my living book's brains about career development. This is a fab idea, makes it really interesting and it's nice to have a chat. She's been very positive about joining somewhere that looks after its staff."

Mooi Tay said this was her first time as a "living book".

She said: "I don't know what to expect. It's an interesting concept and I like to talk to people. And because I'm actually a foreigner as well, I can tell about the experience of living in Britain."