Andrea's Story

I’m Occupational Therapist working in the community. The job has been very stressful over the last 3 years. This was my first post as a newly graduated Occupational Therapist.

I have always enjoyed spending time camping, walking and swimming in the great outdoors and I did it with friends during university, however when I started my job I got so overwhelmed with work stress that I stopped doing these activities.

Fortunately, I met some wonderful colleagues who encouraged me to return to the hills and the outdoors.

I spent my weekends camping and hillwalking with my partner and some colleagues, and last summer we took part in a group holiday to Kenya where we completed Mount Kenya at 5000m. After the experience of that holiday I realised that I couldn't continue to work the way I was or I was going to make myself ill. I did however end up off work for a number weeks earlier this year due to work related stress.

I am now back at work but I continue to struggle with the statutory service pressures and my own need to make a difference to the clients I work with.

I leave my current community occupational therapy post at the end of July. I begin a MSc in Outdoor Education in Sept. I plan to utilise my skills as an occupational therapist and incorporate outdoor activity therapeutically. I hope to work closely with GP practices and use social prescribing. I am all too aware of the importance that outdoor activities have played in my own health and wellbeing and feel this is the most obvious career path for me.

I have a Facebook and Twitter page to help document my journey as it happens. You can follow my journey at ‘Bring It Outdoors’ @BringItOutdoors.

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