From GP receptionist with a degree in psychology, to specialist mental health midwife, Sally Densham could not be happier with how her career has progressed.
While working in a GP surgery she had regular contact with midwives and found their work so fascinating that she decided to train as one herself.
She qualified in 2011 and spent six years working as a community midwife, before spotting an opportunity to build on her interest in mental health.
Sally said: “I’m really passionate about mental health, I’ve always had an interest in it so to be able to combine it with being a midwife is really special.
“It started with a pilot clinic that linked in with mental health midwives and when I saw the job advertised it seemed perfect.
“My role is varied but at the heart of it, I try to raise awareness and reduce stigma. It can be an emotionally demanding role, but it’s also very rewarding.”
Part of Sally’s role, together with her colleague Tanya-Jane Cox, is to support midwives in caring for the mental health of the women and families they work with.
She said: “I provide training, advice and support for staff to care for others, but also to help them care for themselves.
“Staff mental health is a very important issue to me and I am looking to develop my skills to empower and support colleagues further.”
But she also keeps her hand in as a hospital midwife, spending 12 hours a week working with mums and babies in the wards.
She said: “No two days are the same and that is one of the reasons I love this job.
“And there are always opportunities to make mental health more of a normal thing to talk about, whether with our women or our colleagues.
“Sometimes just giving someone the space to talk is enough to help them feel listened to and reassured.”