Becoming a Mental Health Nurse

I really don’t know if I am cut out to do this course and be a nurse.

I have a juvenile criminal record, and I am a Paranoid Schizophrenic.

Not sure if any of this works in my favour.

Would you consider it weird having a fellow sufferer treating you? Would it be correct?

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All I know is that most times I’ve reached further than my grasp, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. :slightly_smiling_face:


Hey. tell your story. Once I thought that I would be a bad welder. and I liked to weld metal. as a result, in 5 months I learned almost everything in manual arc welding. I experienced more, about 1.5 years


St Francis of Assisi was a rampant womanizing drunk before he entered the sainthood.

You’d have to be pretty messed up to be unforgivable.

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Hmm I don’t know if a criminal record would affect you because it might affect police record checks especially when you work with vulnerable population such as the disabled. Honestly excluding the record, you can be anything you want in life even when you have schizophrenia. I heard from my friend with schizophrenia and how a fellow patient acted out in his clubhouse. She was clearly manic and needed to go to the hospital but the peer support worker didn’t do anything about it. I feel because of your schizophrenia, you have far more empathy and understanding when it comes to fellow people with severe mental illnesses. I think once you get your record cleared, you would make a great nurse.

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I have to be honest, and think maybe, that they would be concerned if you developed psychosis whilst on the job. Its certainley doable, i reckon - but you gonna have to show that youve been stable for a length of time - before i thought they would consider you.

My social worker made no secret of the fact he was on 50mg sertraline for anxiety and depression.


My oldest friend is bipolar and she’s an ER nurse studying to become a psych NP. Her coworkers always request her help with psych patients and the frequent flier patients always ask if she is available. Sometimes, someone who has experienced the darkness is the best person to treat it in others.


I think the hardest part would be that you’ll likely have to not ever tell anyone. Like, you can’t talk to a patient and be like, oh, I totally understand, I’m sz and have been there myself. Like, you’ll have to keep it secret and that would be really difficult sometimes.


I’ve thought of trying to be a counselor to people, but I think the works more suited to people who have more positive symptoms and I’m only really experiencing weak motivation, some very mild hallucinations every now and again. I don’t think I’d have the vigor to really struggle with helping someone whom would need it or the experience with coping with symptoms that are way worse then what I have.

Still, its an option that I might look into, if I ever want to re enter the work sphere.

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Thanks for your replies

i will know more on Thursday as we have a Skype interview.

I am sure they will ask me about all this when they talk to me


I know a friend who was one. He had to leave the profession because it was too stressful and he had a patient bring charges against him.

Your not just dealing with the mentally ill. Your dealing with people on drugs/recovering etc. It’s not uncommon to be assaulted etc. I’m no expert but my friend really dealt with some serious shite. As someone with a mental illness I’d say go to general or surgical nursing.


As long as you are healthy and taking meds then I don’t see the problem however I am not sure about the criminal record, because they do carry out DBS in the UK but again if it is a juvenile crime then I don’t know

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Dude i have a juvie record but their sealed… I’m in med school a few years away from beconing a licensed doctor. Trust me tho as much as you want to empathize with your patients you’ll lose your job and likly get sued. But you should not let this dream stop you you go for it and if you fail you fail but you gave it everything you got and youll be able to live w that, but if you dont youll have to live w that. This disease is just a label once you learn how to live with it. It will in the future come back to bit you in the ass but dont sweat cuz youve already come this far not realizing it back during the worse of times. so look you made it this far, why not keep pushing. best of luck


But i think ethically its totally messed up cuz your looked at as nothing more than a liability. But if your symptoms dont get in the way then ethically you should be able to practice only if your sound enough to know when to take a leave of absence if and when they return

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I don’t know how I feel about that. It has its pros and cons. Very strong pros but I’m a very ‘paranoid’ person so I’d be slightly scared for my wellbeing too if a fellow sufferer doing a demanding job is looking after me.

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I wouldn’t disclose anything to patients. I think this would be hard to keep boundaries, but the care of the patient is the focus, not my own personal problems

as long as u don’t lose insight if u get unwell. then its cool.

I hope u never get unwell again

best of luck with doing a job u enjoy that’s really important if u can :slight_smile:

It’s something that has been in the back of my mind for a few years

My old job I felt trapped by the salary and it was to the detriment to my health

Definitely a change of career!

The training is 3 years. I am sure they will support me

I need to know from them that they can assist me to overcome any of my own issues when dealing with others


I would start as a peer-support volunteer at a recovery college (you can even get paid for such a role) and see how it goes from there, I have considered doing this myself.


I used to be a volunteer peer support worker for people with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses in an organization. I LOVED it! The work is super rewarding and I think you will do really well.