Exploring the mind – Dr Joseph is our NHS Hero

Dr Renju Joseph (51) had always wanted to be a doctor, but it was 8 years after joining medical school that he realised his “curiosity about the mind”, and began his training to become a psychiatrist in 1994.

Having now worked for the NHS for 20 years, Dr Joseph is driven by the belief that he can make a significant difference to people’s lives. He has carried this through his career, and into his current role as a General Adult Consultant Psychiatrist at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH).

Dr Joseph is responsible for supporting both inpatients and outpatients with mental health issues. He is predominantly based at Bushey Fields Hospital in Dudley, but spends one day a week supporting a service which he developed, offering assessments, diagnosis and advice for adults with ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

“I had been trying to create an ADHD and ASD service for 10 years, and I couldn’t have achieved it without the support of management and my colleagues.

“Dr Syed Jawed and Dr Rose Jones deserve a special mention for everything they contributed to the implementation of the service; I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Dr Joseph has worked in many different roles during his career, but says his personal highlights would be his time as clinical director at DWMH, and working as a training programme director for a scheme where he developed junior psychiatrists.

“I have had many responsibilities, but I’m happy that I can now focus on clinical work, as well as mentoring junior consultants which I love doing.

“The reason I wanted to work within mental health was because I found the thoughts of others so intriguing. I wanted to help towards unravelling the mysteries of the mind, and I can now pass on everything I’ve learned to others.
“The best part of my job is earning patients’ trust, and directly observing them getting better.”

Dr Joseph added: “It’s so important that I provide a continuity of care within my role. Each patient is on their own individual journey, and support must be tailored to their needs.”

Outside of work, he likes to spend as much time as he can with his wife and two daughters.

“I’m at my happiest when I’m with my family, so wherever I go, I want them to be there” smiles Dr Joseph.

“I also enjoy reading classics, gardening and cooking!”

So who is Dr Joseph’s hero?

“There are too many people that I look up to, so I can’t name just one! But any colleague or patient who helps towards mental health is a hero to me.”

Dr Joseph’s mental health message: “Be happy and make others happy. Never feel guilty, learn from experience and move forward.”