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 person’s 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.