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Karen Helen Bracegirdle

Karen started working in Mental Health in 1997 as a support worker for the local authority so this 

is where her journey began and her passion for mental health. Karen decided that she wanted to become a Qualified Nurse. 

and studied at the University of Glamorgan in 1999, and qualified as a RNMH in 2002. 

Karen has achieved so much in her working life and has enjoyed the journey of working alongside individuals who experienced mental ill health of varying degrees.

Much of her work over the years has included social inclusion, education, promoting wellbeing and the 

importance of physical activity and physical health.

Her approach was always holistic. 

Karen worked alongside the community gynaecology team to set up services for women who did not attend the GP so as their sexual health could be managed accordingly. She trained as a smear taker and in family planning so she could ensure women were being seen, she also helped to set up the perinatal services and worked with mothers who were experiencing 

difficulties pre and post childbirth and completed a module in Maternal Mental Health so she could work specifically with women who were at risk of developing depression etc. 

Karen devised a programme for those

experiencing a serious mental illness known as

Beautiful Minds,

it was an education programme which also included working in the allotments, baking, arts and crafts. The social aspect was paramount to the wellbeing of the individuals. 

Karen completed her Msc in Professional Practice in 2013. 

She initiated the set up of a football team, enabling people to embrace the game. 

In 2014 she won the inaugural title of the

RCN Mental Health Nurse of the Year award for innovation in practice. 

Karen retired from her post soon after this due to a life changing situation, and therefore did some part 

time work. 

She recently left nursing in October 2023. 

She has 3 children and 6 grandchildren and lives with her partner Mark.

Karen loves running and trail running and recently started Hyrox and is competing in the World Championships in Nice, 

France June 2024. 

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