Dr Stephen Spencer first started his nursing career following the birth of his daughter. On that day, he and his wife were cared for by a male midwife, this planted the seed for him to pursue a nursing career. His first few years was working in a medium-secure Forensic Mental Health Unit. During this time he recognised many of the men he nursed in this setting had significant challenges during their formative, developmental years. He learnt quickly that early intervention and support for young people can have life-long impacts.
This was the motivation for him to start working with young people in an acute mental health unit and the formation of EquiEnergy Youth.
Steve is EEY’s Clinical Director and a mental health nurse who has now worked for over a decade in an acute child and adolescent inpatient unit. He has provided care to thousands of young people hospitalised for acute mental health problems.
In 2017, Steve was awarded a PhD for his research project which investigated the most effective responses and interventions for young people experiencing episodes of acute psychological distress. Through his work with EquiEnergy Youth, Steve shares his evidence-based framework and clinical experience of providing psychological first aid. The goal is to build capacity in the adults who support young people and improve outcomes for those who experience episodes of psychological distress, or live with mental health challenges.
Steve’s other achievements and training;
- Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression (PMVA) trainer since 2006 and in 2012 completed an Honours degree for his research which evaluated the PMVA training program.
- Trained in Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Psychosis in Young People and is a current member of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.
- Produced published peer-reviewed journal articles of his research and is a co-author of a chapter in a professional textbook.