Finalist for the Patient's Choice Award 2022

Karen Vernon
Nurse practitioner, Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Karen Vernon, Patient's Choice Award finalist


A young woman has nominated mental health nurse practitioner Karen Vernon for giving her hope that ‘life is worth living again’ when she had none

‘Karen has saved my life. She has helped me and my family navigate my diagnosis of emotionally unstable personality disorder and autistic spectrum condition.

‘Even though I don’t have psychosis, Karen kept me in her early intervention team for psychosis and managed me until I was 18 and could move to the personality disorder hub. Karen spent her own time reading up on dialectical behaviour therapy to see if she could help me when I wouldn’t engage with the psychologist.

‘At my many hospital and emergency department admissions, Karen sat with me in her own time when she should have been with her own family. She has talked me down from stressful feelings and suicidal intentions, and I know this put a lot of pressure on her. She would return my calls and texts on her lunch breaks when they were outside of my appointment times.

‘Karen has never given up on me and has made me feel that I am worthy of living when I felt I was not. She would talk calmly and kindly to me through closed doors when I wouldn’t come out of the room to be seen.

‘She patiently supported and helped me face many difficult situations, and kindly tried to put boundaries in place, and never got annoyed at my endless text messages to her. There were many times I wouldn’t get out of bed, but Karen helped me understand small steps and motivated me with her positive manner, which enabled me to restart work.

‘Karen has helped me attend meetings and engage with other professionals. The coping strategies she has helped me develop I use daily. She has helped my mum understand me and helped me rebuild my relationship with my dad.

‘She helped me create a ladder of goals to try and climb, which I'm currently still working on. She is a positive role model and I hope her hard work, effort and determination is acknowledged.’

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