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‘I need your help’

The four words community nurses should use to address health inequalities – and ensure they see their patients as partners. 
Opinion piece

The four words community nurses should use to address health inequalities – and ensure they see their patients as partners

A colleague at our social enterprise got a new job last month. He said his life had been transformed after 13 years of mental health problems by four words: ‘I need your help’.

When I met him in 2013, he described himself as ‘an alcoholic vampire’ who slept all day and drank all night. We asked him to help judge a children’s competition, because he was a local father. Apparently, we were the first organisation to see him as an asset and ask for his help rather than offer it.

The words ‘I need your help’ overcomes pride and shame.

Desired career

Many people do not like to be seen as someone in need. By using their


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