Photo gallery: Mental Health Award winner Dorcas Gwata
Mental Health Award finalist - Nursing Standard Nurse Awards 2015
Dorcas provides mental health interventions to young people and families affected by gang crime. She joined a police and social service community partnership in Westminster, London, when she became concerned that their health needs were not being addressed.
She has developed relationships with A&E departments, young offender prisons, sexual health clinics and schools. Gang key workers make direct referrals to Dorcas, who reviews the young persons physical and mental health needs.
About 80% of our clients are from minority ethnic backgrounds, she says. I have extensive experience in working with complex cultural clinical cases such as HIV, FGM, safeguarding issues for African children and human trafficking. I have brought this experience forward in developing culturally adjusted interventions for this group.
Dorcas has also developed a mental health safety planning plan for young girls who are sexually exploited to keep them from self-blame and self-harming, and offers psychological support to families affected by gang culture.