I am currently completing my fourth and final year in the Health Studies’ Psychiatric Nursing Program. I also hold previous education with the University of Winnipeg. I have engaged in many educational opportunities that are not university based, mainly in relation to volunteer work in the community and connecting through sharing knowledge and life experience.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
I am proud of who I am and my life journey so far; this is my biggest accomplishment. When I think of the life experience and accomplishments I have acquired over the years, I cannot help but feel grateful. I associate accomplishments with thankfulness, and have come to even view my life challenges as achievement. I am appreciative of my education up to this point and look forward to where it may take me in the future. Many of my endeavors are the direct result from actively seeking additional learning opportunities and maintaining my thirst for knowledge.
Below are some examples of additional workshops and panel discussions that I have attended and/or facilitated on (or around) the Brandon University Winnipeg campus:
- Aboriginal Cultures Awareness Workshop (WRHA) – May 2013
- Bed Bug Prevention and Treatment Strategies (Lunch and Learn Opportunity on Winnipeg Campus) – November 2013
- Childhood Trauma Training Workshop (BRHA) – April 2013
- Café Scientifique (University of Manitoba Learning Series) FASD & Human Rights Panel Discussion – February 2014
- 2nd, 3rd & 4th year BUSSHA student representative on Winnipeg Campus – November 2011-current
- Psychiatric Nursing Department Committee (Winnipeg Campus) student representative – September 2013-current
- Partners for Mental Health: Group Discussion on ‘Call Bullshit Campaign’ with Accessibility Services at the University of Winnipeg – October 2012. Also facilitated Discussion on Increasing Mental Health Awareness and Decreasing Stigma with Jeff Moat, President of Partners for Mental Health on BU, Wpg campus – October 2012
- Continuity Care of Manitoba Membership 2012
- Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Canada Membership January 2014
- Manitoba Schizophrenia Society Member September 2010-current
- Manitoba Nurses’ Union (student member) September 2012-current
- Nurses in Transition Membership February 2014
Volunteer Work with Organizations:
- Siloam Mission October 2010-current
- Manitoba Schizophrenia Society September 2008-current
- Co-occurring Disorders Initiative (Summer Institute) June 18-22, 2012
- Partners in Mental Health (Mental Health Commission) May 2012-current
Tell me about yourself/your background/ your history
Geographically, I grew up in Port Coquitlam, BC and moved to Winnipeg, MB in 1996. After finishing high school in Winnipeg, I attended the University of Winnipeg for a period of time and worked in different capacities at the institution: research assistant, admissions, student records, and academic advising. I have also had the privilege of working in a supportive role within the deaf-blind community for many years. In my spare time, I enjoy engaging in the diverse expression of arts with an emphasis on painting with multiple mediums, including found objects. If I am not found behind a canvas or a good book, you will likely find me at the gym or having coffee with friends.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
My field of study originated within the streams of psychology and sociology at the University of Winnipeg, but I found myself wanting to engage with people on a more interrelational level and decided to apply to Brandon University for the psychiatric nursing program. Another contributing factor was that I had people in my life who were living with mental illness, and it is through those experiences that I was inspired to enter the psychiatric nursing profession. I have grown and become an ally, an advocate, and have become a better friend and family member for it. Out of those experiences came my desire to be a part of the profession of registered psychiatric nursing and I have not looked back.
What is your philosophy in life?
My philosophy is multifarious, diverse with many elements, so I will break it down to three philosophical points;
- I would consider myself as part of the ‘wounded healer’ community with my past and present as essential components to my resiliency and creativity as a person and as a professional;
- Invest in the people and the environment in which you find yourself; and
- “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen, Selected Poems, 1956-1968.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Over the next five years, I hope to grow in my practice as an RPN. I do see myself continuing to actively be involved in the community, whether I sit on a board or cut vegetables at a community kitchen. I also would like to see myself grow as an advocate for the individuals I serve, care for, network, and collaborate with.
The faculty at the Winnipeg campus of the Psychiatric nursing program would like to nominate Naomi Sirota. Naomi is the Winnipeg Campus Psychiatric Nursing Representative with BUSU for our Campus and has been actively engaged in trying to form greater linkages between the two Psychiatric Nursing Campuses.
She is the Department of Psychiatric Nursing’s Department Meeting Representative and is an alternate for Curriculum and the Program Advisory Committee.
She actively worked On the Co-Occurring Disorders Summer Institute 2012 during the previous two weeks of preparation and assisted as a student ambassador for the full week of the Institute. Her prior work with University of Winnipeg assisted us greatly as we partnered with U of W for this event.
She is a member of the Mental Health Commission’s Partners for Mental Health Community Action Team and was a leader in the Let’s Call B.S. Campaign focused on Youth Mental Health in the Fall of 2012. She provided workshops at Churchill High School, University of Winnipeg’s Accessibility Services Department and was an advocate of the Let’s Call B.S. Campaign within both BU Psychiatric Nursing Campuses and Brandon University as a whole.
She is always willing to assist and mentor other students and is a real asset to our program.