Mental health nursing


Southern Health provides a wide range of mental health services across Hampshire. From caring for young people in our low secure units, to helping older people with dementia in the community.

We are passionate about providing remarkable care and we’re looking for people that share our mindset. We know that everyone is looking for different things from their career, and we’re here to find the perfect package that’s right for you. Whether that's making time for your family, working on the other passions in your life or supporting you to progress and develop, we can support you.

#caretojoinus @ our OPMH recruitment open day - 21 October between 2.30pm and 6.30pm at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

South East Hampshire is home to some of our amazing Older People’s Mental Health Teams. We have community teams supporting people in their own homes to live their best possible lives and our inpatient services giving people intensive care at this vulnerable point in their lives.

We are looking for some incredible Band 5 and 6 nurses ( to join the Southern Health family. We have a number of roles in the community and on our wards, so come along and have a chat and see what we can offer you!

At Southern Health we are investing in our OPMH wards and have just opened Poppy Ward which has been specially designed for dementia patients with 14 en-suite rooms, new activity room and kitchen and a beautiful sensory garden. Rose Ward is also under development and will provide another bespoke space for our mental health patients when it reopens later this year.

We are also investing in our staff with our own clinical academy. ACE offers a specific focus on the professional development and career progression for registered nurses, nursing associates and AHPs. ACE focuses solely on your professional educational needs and career journey. Our programmes are developed around your needs and led by a faculty of clinical experts. We work in collaboration with our in-house training teams and local universities to design and develop our learning programmes to ensure you have the skills you need, to have the career you want.

We want you to feel equipped with the right skills and knowledge and give you confidence as a healthcare professional to continue on your journey of life-long learning. You will have access to Career Navigators who are hand-picked clinical experts from within the Trust who will support you to make informed choices about the direction of your career and learning journey through a one off conversation. The Academy will provide an opportunity for you to apply for CPD funding of up to £1000 over three years to support you to meet your educational and training requirements.

If you would like to know more about the roles, Southern Health or the people you will be working with come down to our open day on 21 October between 2.30pm and 6.30pm at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

In this video Rosie talks about her experience of becoming an Older Persons Mental Health nurse during the pandemic and what it is like to care for people with dementia. 

More Information

Our aim is to provide high quality integrated care and to work collaboratively with our service users to support their recovery making a positive difference to their health, well-being and independence. We have a strong recovery ethos and are dedicated to promoting service user involvement at all levels. Adult mental health services offer a truly diverse role, supporting adults through various mental illnesses.

We have a number of inpatient wards across Hampshire, including one providing care for serving military personnel, psychiatric intensive care units, a mother and baby unit, female and male care for people experiencing a period of acute and severe psychiatric illness.

We also provide a range of community-based mental health services for people who need support for their mental health issues. We want our patients to be able to take much greater control over the way they are treated, and will encourage them to set your own goals, priorities and hopes for the future. We focus on recovery from illness, rather than just on treatment. This approach is called the ‘recovery’ principle and runs through all of the work that we do.

Mental health and emotional well-being are as important in older age as at any other time of life. With increasing rates of Dementia, we are passionate about providing the best mental health care for the people we treat with our specialist services.

Our aim is to provide high quality integrated care and to work collaboratively with our patients to support their recovery making a positive difference to their health, well-being and independence. Working with our patients and their families and carers we are providing bespoke care plans centred around their needs and wishes.

We have a number of wards supporting older people's mental health across Hampshire, based at our community hospitals (including Gosport, Lymington, Parklands, Western) which offer care for people with organic mental health needs and functional mental health needs. We also offer care and support through our community teams. 

Older people's mental health (OPMH) nursing and care can be a speciality that is sometimes overlooked. However, the complexity of skills required to care for a patients with dementia, embodies what health care is all about and pull on every facet of staff's training. A patient with dementia and their family need time, understanding and a person centred approach to really help understand behaviours and support strategies to improve wellbeing. 

Dementia affects so many people and families and sadly it is not a reversible condition. So we think it is important to raise awareness around the need for more research, early identification and signposting to support. 

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services, commonly known as CAMHS, is a term used to describe services that work with children and young people who have difficulty with their emotional and/or behavioural wellbeing.

Our CAMHS service is an exciting and rewarding place to be working and helps young people aged 12-18 with a wide range of mental health conditions. We have three units; Leigh House in Winchester and Bluebird House and Austen House based at Tatchbury Mount in Southampton. 

Leigh House is an award winning purpose built hospital that not only helps patients recover from eating disorders but it also looks after young people with other mental health conditions such as depression, OCD and psychosis. 

Bluebird House is one of six secure forensic mental health services for young people within the NHS. It is a highly specialist purpose built unit which has an established and dedicated multi-disciplinary team. 

Austen House is a low secure, forensic unit for children and young people aged 12-18 years. They often have complex mental health problems which means they may pose a risk to the themselves. 

Working in CAMHS can be very challenging but we have a dedicated workforce from various disciplines that work closely together to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients. No two days in CAMHS are ever the same but the work is very interesting and there is lots of fun to be had working with the young people!

Our specialised mental health services provide secure and intensive support for both male and female patients from the age of 12. We currently have six specialised services including three children and adolescent mental health units (mentioned in the bar above) 

Some of the patients within these units have been detained under the Mental Health Act or have committed a crime. The patients admitted to our specialised service units present with a range of mental health issues including psychosis, personality disorder and depression or eating disorders.

Our forensic units are:

  • Ashford is a 10-bed inpatient low secure learning disability unit for men. 
  • Bluebird House is a specialist, forensic medium secure mental health inpatient unit for young people. 
  • Southfield is a 28-bed specialist low secure forensic mental health inpatient unit for adults.
  • Ravenswood House is a medium secure unit for adults with serious mental illness.
  • Leigh House is an acute adolescent psychiatric unit for young people between the ages of 12 to 18 years. This unit doesn't admit anyone who has committed a crime or that is held under the criminal justice act. Leigh House treats young people with a variety of mental health illnesses and has specialist eating disorders beds.
  • Austen House is a low secure, forensic unit for children and young people aged 12-18 years.

We have a multi-sisciplinary team made up of nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, medical teams at all of our sites. Our teams are dedicated to providing the best possible care for our patients with the aim of recovery and allowing the patient to return to the community.

We also have a specialist Community Forensic Team which works to intensively help patients (24/7) as they move into the community, so they can eventually live safely and independently with the support of our community mental health services.

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