Barbara Panagiotopoulos

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Forensic psychologist - Mental Health Intensive Care Unit

Prince of Wales Hospital

“I am a psychologist at the Mental Health Intensive Care Unit (MHICU). I provide input to the multidisciplinary team. It’s a challenge working with people in an acute ward, but we work with those who are able to work with us.

What matters most to my clients is having an empathetic person that they can speak to. Someone who’s non-judgemental, who can listen to what they want out of life.  When our clients do voice something, you’ve got to listen, hear and act on it. Being in an acute ward can be a traumatic experience for them. 

One of my clients wanted a new person to work with her, but I fought to stay on, as I wanted to use that as part of our treatment. She used to go from clinician to clinician and I wanted to work with her on that, to try and teach her that you can stick with someone and we can work together.  She had a forensic court order and after three years she ended up getting off it. I cried in the hearing when the tribunal granted her unconditional release. It was an unfortunate experience for her when she ended up on the forensic order, but she got through it and she’s now free and living a pretty good life.”