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Technology and mental health - a day in the life of Jenna Sutton

We sat down with Jenna, our IT Business Development Manager, who has an important role with our patients and technology. 

 

What's your background at St Andrew's?

I have worked at St Andrew’s for nearly 18 years since leaving college. During this time, I have taken on several roles within the IT department; starting with PC Support Assistant back in 2003. I have since completed my training with Microsoft, and qualified in both ITIL and Business Relationship Management which has led me to my current role of Business Relationship Manager.

What were your initial thoughts about working in mental health?

Although working in IT can often mean we’re largely removed from all the great work that’s going on at St Andrew’s and on the wards, working at this organisation has taught me an awful lot about the importance of mental health and just how important such places like St Andrew’s are.

How would you describe your role at St Andrew's?

As a business relationship manager, I not only act as a mediator between IT and the rest of the business, I am also responsible for the day to day relationships with the hospital, ensuring consistency in engagement across the business. I am still largely involved in the running of the IT Service along with process improvement and I also investigate any IT complaints raised. I regularly meet with different areas around the hospital such as Consultancy, Education and Workbridge to ensure they have the technology required to do their job but my favourite part of the role is meeting with patients at either patient forums or community meetings. This gives them an opportunity to raise any IT concerns or discuss any ideas they may have around IT.

How have you #MadeADifference to our patients?

I have been lucky enough within my role to work with all areas of the organisation. As part of this, I have been able to help patients through providing access to many systems, software and technology. I was involved in the roll out of Skype iPads to our wards which offered our patients a way of being in contact with their friends and family throughout lockdown. I have worked with Nuero to provide technology that allows some of our patients who first language isn’t English, access to streamed TV channels that aren’t available on main stream TV. I have done a lot of work over the years with the Deaf Service, whether it be the installation of induction loops or providing access to BSL TV. I

have also worked with many patients on projects which have allowed better access to internet, TV channels and the ability to purchase their own TV’s should they wish. Most importantly, I am someone they can voice their IT concerns to.

What are your future plans and your thoughts on how IT helps with mental health?

I feel technology has a massively important part to play in helping improve people’s mental health. Whether it be through the use of virtual reality helping to de-sensitise patients suffering from PTSD and recreating their personal triggers or through using one of the many mental health apps such as Calm or Headspace that are available to us all. There are also many new and exciting developments being made such as digital phenotyping which gathers data from people’s personal devices such as smart phones to learn about their behaviours and overall state of health.

I have loved the 17 years spent working at St Andrew’s and plan to continue building relationships with as many areas of the organisation as possible!