Giving families a voice – Anneka is our NHS Hero

Ever since she was a college student, Anneka McGee (34) knew that she wanted to work with people, and help them reach their potential. Now having found her passion within child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), Anneka is dedicated to supporting young people and their parents through the most difficult times.

Anneka started her journey in CAMHS back in 2007, and she now works as a Senior Occupational Therapist and Clinical Lead for Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) in their Dudley CAMHS team. She has developed her skills and progressed through different roles over the last 11 years at DWMH, where her vision of working collaboratively to make a real impact has always been at the forefront of her work.

“When I looked into occupational therapy as a potential career path, I realised that it would enable me to work in diverse environments, with people of all ages” said Anneka.

“I’m so glad I did this, as it made me realise that working with young people was what I wanted to do, and I found my real passion in CAMHS.

“During my working days, I have some clinical time, helping young people and their families and I also support the occupational therapy team, as well as meeting with commissioners to build and develop our services. The needs of our patients are always put first, so we are continuously working on improvements.”

Anneka added: “I always ensure that the child and parents’ voices are heard throughout their journey. Being responsive to their needs is so important to their safety and recovery.”

Anneka has been involved in many successes for Dudley CAMHS during her career, but she beams when she speaks about CAMHS receiving their first ‘Outstanding’ rating under the ‘caring’ domain, after a recent inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

“This was a huge highlight for not only me, but everyone involved in CAMHS. Being recognised for all the hard work we put into our services, and knowing that we are making a difference, makes me so proud of what I do.

“The team I work with are fantastic, and the fact we have shared values and visions is what drives me every day. I have grown up in CAMHS and we work so well together – I couldn’t ask for better colleagues.”

Anneka says that her next big challenge is to develop as clinical lead, and learn as much as she can from her colleagues in order to continue her progression.

Outside of work, Anneka enjoys spending time with her husband and two little boys. When she has time for herself, she enjoys going to the gym and running.

So who is Anneka’s hero?

“I admire people who take a chance and make a difference!”

Anneka’s mental health message: L.R. Knost said, “Every day in a hundred small ways our children ask ‘do you see me? Do you hear me? Do I matter?’ Their behaviour reflects our response.”