Fri | Aug 18, 2017

'Deejay nurse' committed to healing the mind

Published:Sunday | May 29, 2016 | 5:00 AM
Robinson Tee explains that though she started out as a registered general nurse, she soon realised she had a passion for attending to her patient's psychological needs.
Robinson Tee said she was drawn to mental health from as early as primary school.
Fay Robinson Tee … wife, mother, nurse and artiste.
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She is a pastor's wife, a psychiatric nurse, mother of three boys, and a recording artiste. To say that Fay Robinson Tee has her hands full would be an understatement.

For her, though, it means enjoying and getting the chance to indulge in things that she is passionate about.

In a one-on-one with Outlook, she opened up about her concern for mentally ill patients, her driving passion for ministry, and how she uses music to spread awareness about issues such as depression, child abuse, schizophrenia, and human trafficking.

She said that inspiration for her recordings comes from her own daily observations, and from workshops she has attended. "The songs are generally well received, especially by persons in the fields of health and education."

The 'deejay nurse' as many who have seen her in action call her, said she finds it easy to sensitise others on various issues by putting the topics to music.

"At a Ministry of Health workshop in 2012, the question arose on how best to sensitise persons about child abuse. I suggested the use of music, and before the session was over, I felt the rhythm and wrote the song on child abuse. After sharing the song with the group, someone suggested that I do a creative piece on depression," she said, highlighting how she happened into the world of recording.

Robinson Tee, who is passionate about mental health, is also driven by her commitment to stay true to her calling as a "child of God". She said she embraced the Christian faith at age 12, and it is what drives everything she does, even today.

"I have seen the hand of God directing every aspect of my life. My faith means everything to me. It is in God that I live and move and have my being," said the nurse who balances her time between church duties, caring for her children and ensuring she gives full service to her patients.

With a smile, Robinson Tee said she is up to the hectic task as she has learnt how to say 'no'.

"Maintaining a schedule and prayerfully relying on God's help are critical. Of critical importance is the support of my family with each person understanding and carrying out their roles responsibly. I am also thankful for my network of friends and very supportive colleagues at work," she stated.

It, no doubt, helps that she sees work as another form of ministry. She said her clients offer her an opportunity to demonstrate the love of God.

Although Robinson Tee started out as a registered general nurse, she soon realised she had a passion for attending to persons' psychological needs. It was that passion that saw her asking for a transfer to the Bellevue Hospital.

After nine years there, she started her sojourn into community psychiatry as a mental-health officer where she has spent the past nine years.

"My job encompasses follow-up care for persons living with mental disorders in clinics and in their homes, as well as mental-health promotion," she said.

Robinson Tee, who hails from rural Clarendon, is a past student of Clarendon College, the Kingston School of Nursing, and the Jamaica Theological Seminary. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies - Guidance and Counselling Emphasis degree.

She said she was drawn to mental health from as early as primary school, as she recalls being an advocate for challenged persons in her community.

"If they were teased, I would be the one to throw stones on their behalf. I think this is where my interest in psychiatry began, though I did not recognise it then," she told Outlook. She said she was a tomboy when she was younger, said there was nothing she would not do, including fetching water, driving handcarts, and riding home-made skates.

Maybe it was that kind of attitude that saw her getting the courage to seek a job after finishing fifth form.

"I knew my parents were financially challenged. I had a hard time convincing my father (to allow me to get a job) as I did well in my Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate," she said.

She eventually got a job as a pre-trained teacher at an all-age school. That allowed her to help the family and still save enough to send herself to nursing school.

Now a member of the Associated Gospel Assemblies, she gives credit to the Baptist church and the Church of God of Prophecy, which she said shaped her spirituality in her formative years.

Recording for Robinson Tee is not about seeking financial gain, as she said sales from her CDs are used to provide assistance to patients throughout the community mental-health service in the southern region.