Associate Work at Purple House

Spotlight On: Dr Colm Hennessy

My Career So Far

I qualified as a doctor in 2006, and commenced specialist psychiatry training in 2008. I went into sub-speciality training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in 2012, and I qualified as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in 2015. Through my career I’ve worked exclusively in the west of Scotland, across various hospital and community sites. I have primarily worked in Inverclyde, where I have held an NHS consultant post since 2015. In addition to my work in the NHS, I have worked as an Associate Psychiatrist in private practice, at The Purple House Clinic, since 2019.

The Role of a Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are experts in amalgamating the biological, psychological and social underpinnings of mental health difficulties and our training involves learning to take a holistic view. We are often trained in various forms of psychotherapy, and are able to signpost towards other relevant therapies and professionals. Specifically to psychiatry, we can also offer a medical perspective, with a focus on diagnosis and medication as appropriate.

What I Love About Being a Psychiatrist

I really love working with young people and their families. I love learning about their lives, and making a difference to them. As a child and adolescent psychiatrist, you have the ability to make positive and vital changes at a crucial point in their lives. I also love our place in the multidisciplinary team, and the constant opportunity it offers to learn from other professionals with different backgrounds.

My Work at The Purple House Clinic, Glasgow

There are two main strands to my work at The Purple House Clinic. The first is carrying out ADHD assessment and treatment (including medication). The second is in the assessment, diagnosis and management of mental health difficulties in young people, such as depression and anxiety. This can include medication, but also generally includes signposting towards therapy or other support agencies.

The Impact of my Work at the Clinic

Firstly, I think it’s important to recognise the tremendous pressure that NHS CAMHS is experiencing, and the near-unmanageable demands placed on them. I also work in CAMHS, and have first-hand experience of the huge challenges faced at CAMHS. These challenges have considerably increased as a consequence of the pandemic. Bearing that in mind, families often come to The Purple House Clinic desperate for help. We provide the opportunity for timely assessment and intervention for young people and their families. I have seen young people, who were barely functioning at school because of undiagnosed ADHD, finally find their feet. I have seen young people regain function, after being crippled by anxiety and depression.

The Benefits of Working as an Associate

By working as an Associate at The Purple House Clinic, Glasgow, I have the ability to take on just as much work as I want to, and see to patients at flexible times, both in person and virtually. I have access to excellent clinic rooms and helpful admin, and support from management if I need it. I really enjoy my work as an Associate. As someone who mainly works in NHS CAMHS, my work as an Associate here provides a different perspective into mental health services, and in the role that private services can play in offering care in parallel.

It can seem daunting taking on extra work, particularly as we are all so busy. And simply considering taking on private work at all can feel like a step into the unknown. However, my experience has been very positive. If anyone is contemplating taking on private work at The Purple House Clinic I would recommend that they just get in touch with their local clinic and explore the opportunity; I also happy to chat to people about my experience too.

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