Stephanie Eleuterio, CATALYST Assistant Psychologist
Stephanie joined the Health Education England-funded CATALYST programme wanting to gain some experience in the psychology field. She shares her experience of balancing family commitments alongside her programme journey to achieve her goal of working in mental health.
"Changing careers can be a challenging journey, but thanks to my experience as a CATALYST Assistant Psychologist, the transition has been much smoother than I initially anticipated.
When I applied for the position, I had made some progress towards achieving my goal of working in the mental health sector – notably by completing a part-time evening classes master’s degree in psychology whilst working full-time in the recruitment industry - whilst raising a family. I also had some volunteering experience at the suicide prevention charity The Listening Place. But I was yet to have worked within the NHS – the holy grail of psychology graduates! And as a Mum, it was impossible for me to consider unpaid positions."
- Stephanie Eleuterio
I heard about the CATALYST programme through my university and throughout the recruitment process, I was made to feel at ease, and everything was thoroughly explained. As I later discovered, NHS interviews can be quite different from those in the private sector, and mastering the codes is paramount – but thankfully the CATALYST interview was anything but a ‘traditional’ NHS interview. Because we were evaluated for our competences rather than our CV, I really felt I had a fair chance of being selected.
After having been offered the position, I was allocated to Back on Track, the IAPT service for Hammersmith and Fulham. I feel extremely lucky to have ended up there, as the team was really supportive of my career development – on top of being super friendly. In my short time with them, I was able to work on so many different projects ranging from service user involvement to community workshops, a psychoeducational group, a service audit, and I had lots of shadowing opportunities.
"Thanks to this experience, I was able to successfully apply to the Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner programme, and I’ve not looked back to my headhunting days!"
- Stephanie Eleuterio
In January 2023 I will qualify as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, and I’m looking forward to continuing my career in the NHS.