NAME: Julie Coverson
DHB: Southern DHB
JOB: Psychiatric liaison nurse

A mental health nurse with an empathetic air for all has been nominated as Southern DHB’s unsung nursing hero.

Julie Coverson is a very modest person and needed some assistance to recognise her hero qualities.

A nurse for 25 years, Julie started her nursing career in the United Kingdom, where she specialised in mental health nursing. She has spent the past 15 years working in Dunedin in various mental health roles and now works as a psychiatric liaison nurse as part of a small team working with a consultant psychiatrist and a registrar.

Her broad role encompasses taking care of the mental health needs of patients within general hospital settings as well as the support and education of nursing staff.

Heather Casey, the Southern DHB’s nursing director for the Mental Health Addictions and Intellectual Disability Directorate, says that Julie does a wonderful job as the psychiatric liaison nurse. “She has a wonderful ability to work alongside all disciplines in a way that supports and builds their knowledge and confidence when working with people who have mental health needs. Additionally, she is an extraordinary teacher and an empathetic ear to all.”

Julie has a particular interest in maternal and infant mental health and after completing several papers in this area has just commenced a postgraduate diploma in infant mental health through an Australian university. She says she always knew she wanted to do a job that involved looking after people. She loves her role and feels humbled by what human beings can tolerate. She says her job keeps her mindful and appreciative of what she has.


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