NHS staff workers have found themselves in the firing line throughout the covid pandemic but perhaps the hardest hit have been the mental health workers.

This week, Narberth clinical psychologist Suzanne Tarrant gained recognition for her outstanding efforts by being awarded a BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honour list.

"I really appreciate this award for the recognition it brings, not just to my own commitment to staff wellbeing but also to that of my team and colleagues across the workforce," she said.

“My motivation each day is in making a difference and bringing compassion, honesty and understanding to help people navigate the ups and downs of working in healthcare.

"Creating the right working conditions in which staff feel supported is essential and enables the delivery of good quality patient care and the best patient experience.”


Suzanne’s career as a clinical psychologist began in South Africa before she returned to the UK in 1994 to work in inpatient and community adult mental health psychology in South Warwickshire.

She remained there for ten years and in 2003 moved, along with her family, to Pembrokeshire to work with the Pembrokeshire and Derwen NHS Trust which is now part of Hywel Dda health board. The following year she established the staff psychological wellbeing service.

“The challenges of the pandemic have brought the importance of staff wellbeing sharply into sharp focus,” she said, “and I have a deep appreciation for how everyone has continued to do their best over such a long period of time.”

Suzanne explained that since the pandemic a number of new initiatives have been established to help staff rest, recover, reflect and change their working patterns in ways that will support their performance and well-being.

This has included provision of ecotherapy retreats Recovery in Nature, funded by NHS Charities Together, to bespoke rest and recovery sessions, as well as spaces for listening, webinars and online mindfulness training.

Suzanne is also a passionate advocate for sustainability, acknowledging how our health and planetary health are inextricably linked.

She has led the development of green health groups in Hywel Dda and set up an innovative ecotherapy programme for staff, focusing on recovery from burnout.