Nurse Wellbeing Mission

Nurse Wellbeing Mission

EP 26: Professional Nurse Advocacy and suicide prevention: A conversation with Emma Wadey

September 20, 2023

Today's guest is Dr. Emma Wadey, a registered mental health nurse and Deputy Director of Mental Health Nursing for NHS England and Improvement.

Emma's humility shines through in her clinical work and leadership style. We discuss her experiences, including public speaking anxiety, her unexpected path into nursing, the impact of nursing identity, and her love for marathon running.

We also explore the Professional Nurse Advocacy Program, which Emma helped create, in part to prevent nurse suicides.

This episode offers valuable insights and practical takeaways for nurses of all backgrounds, emphasizing the importance of well-being and humility.


Key Takeaways from this Episode

Emma talked about the anxiety and challenges of virtual presentations.

Emma shared about the two things that drive her to keep going:

  • Role modeling means doing as you say.
  • A little bit of anxiety is a good thing.

The balance between advocating for one's profession and self-care.

Emma talks about the transformative power of engaging in physical activity such as running.

The value of self-awareness and self-care in maintaining a balanced life for Emma, especially with children.

Emma shares about the unexpected career shifts in her life and the lessons she learned from having a flexible career path.

Emma gives an overview of the PNA program.

The link between PNA and suicide prevention.

Emma encourages PNAs, emphasizing their value in promoting self-care and reaching for support.

Today's Guest:

Dr. Emma Wadey is a mental health nurse with over 20 years of experience and maintains clinical practice in a local psychiatric liaison service. She specializes in treating complex trauma, self-harm, and suicidality, drawing from her experience with suicide's impact. Emma co-produced teaching materials on supporting those with suicidal tendencies. She contributed to the creation of the StayAlive suicide prevention app. She's involved in developing the competency framework for self-harm and suicide. She serves as a national clinical adviser for the Mental Health Service Improvement Programme and clinical lead for the National Nurse Retention Programme.

In addition to her professional achievements, Emma embarked on marathon running as a mid-life endeavor, completing four of the Abbots World Major Marathons with plans to conquer the remaining two.

Connect with Dr. Emma Wadey here:



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