‘This work is about empowering young people with mental health problems’


Nurse Emeka Madubeze’s support helped Zaynab Sohawon develop coping strategies after she was admitted to a secure CAMHS unit

‘The care Emeka Madubeze showed me brought me out of the darkness and crafted me into the resilient and empowered individual I am today,’ says nominator Zaynab Sohawon.

Ms Sohawon was psychotic when she was admitted to a child and adolescent mental health services secure unit after attempting to take her own life. ‘His innovative ideas have had a dramatically positive impact on my life,’ she says.

Mr Madubeze: ‘When you do this kind of work you don’t do it for nominations, you do it
to support young people towards recovery.’ Picture: Tim George

Empathy and patience

When Mr Madubeze became her named nurse, Ms Sohawon says she had no idea it was going to be the ‘best thing to happen’ to her. 

‘I was shown empathy, patience and never-ending diligence. His gentleness, integrity and professionalism eased me into my journey to recovery.’

Read about the rest of our Patient’s Choice finalists below, or click here to vote

She says Mr Madubeze’s perseverance and encouragement helped her to embrace physical exercise as a coping strategy, and led her to nominate him in the Patient’s Choice category of the RCNi Nurse Awards.

‘He always took the time to explain’

‘My mother says Mr Madubeze encouraged me to achieve recovery in a way that she, as a parent, never could, and he always kept her informed of changes in my care. She says he always took the time to explain exactly what difficulties were perpetuating my mental illness and how best to approach me.’

Mr Madubeze, who works at Hill View Hospital, part of Regis Healthcare in Ebbw Vale, south Wales, says: ‘I was really pleased but shocked to hear Zaynab had nominated me. When you do this kind of work you don’t do it for nominations, you do it to support young people towards recovery and empower them to get on with their lives. You do it to help young people and their families.’

Voting opens on 1 May and closes at midnight on 14 June. The winner will be announced at the RCNi Nurse Awards ceremony in London on 3 July.


Elaine Cole is RCNi special projects editor

The Patient’s Choice award is supported by the Patients Association