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Nursing mental health - Nurse meditating on the beach

Helping others to help themselves

Nursing student Linda Sinclair had a dilemma – her study commitments threatened the pursuit of her chosen career in mental health. Juggling up to 40 hours of unpaid work placements each week meant the single mother from Luton had no time for herself, let alone a part time job.

Linda Sinclair says people avoid seeking help because of the stigma surrounding mental health. The negative perception was something she wanted to change through her work. "Mental health [changes] can affect anyone at any time, whether in a positive or negative way. We're all just people."

Mental health has affected her family directly with her boys requiring special assistance for ADHD and vertigo, all of which added pressure to Linda's schedule and finances. "I had some moments where I thought 'Is it all worth it? Am I putting too much pressure on myself? Should I be at home with the kids?' But I haven't worked this hard to not finish," she said.

Linda contacted ScotsCare, the charity that supports Scots and their families in and around Greater London, to see if she could get assistance to help her pursue her goals. She first learned of the charity from her mother, who was born in Springburn, Glasgow. After evaluating Linda's needs the charity offered an education grant for Linda's studies, plus a household grant for carpeting and heaters for their family home. In addition, ScotsCare financed activities for her boys including swimming, badminton, tennis, and arts and crafts. Together, they also joined the ScotsCare-sponsored Thames river boat ride and family day out at Winter Wonderland.

"They've helped massively, mainly so I can relax and enjoy being a mum and a student. It takes away some of those worries," Linda said. "It's something I could never thank them enough for."

Read the full story on the ScotsCare website