In June 2014, 14-year-old daughter Francesca - daughter of Kevin and Lesley Hicks - was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Following some frantic phone calls to their local Clinical Commissioning Group in Essex, she was referred to Maudsley Hospital.
Treatment for anorexia is a long and intense process. Francesca was immediately put on to an inpatient feeding programme. Since she didn’t stay overnight, she had to be driven to the Maudsley four days per week for treatment. The aim is to help the patient return to a healthier weight by encouraging them to stick to a strict eating regime, and slowly reducing time spent at the hospital each week with the longterm goal of reintegrating them back into their normal life.
Other elements include the Intensive Treatment Programme (ITP) Step Down, which incorporates the gradual reintegration back into school, and Multi Family Therapy (MFT) which involves entire families attending group sessions to share experiences.
Francesca's mum Lesley, who is a nurse practitioner at a GP surgery, says that what she calls the ‘Maudsley approach’ has helped her understand how horrible it is to suffer from anorexia, and how to start looking forward to the future.
‘As a family, we sing from the same hymn sheet now because we’ve been really well-trained,’ she says. ‘The Maudsley offers support so that when our daughter finally gets discharged, we’ll have the tools to be able to continue to look after her, and hopefully help her beat this disease so she can grow into a healthy adult, without continuing to have bad feelings about eating or self-harm.’
Although the whole experience has been very distressing for the family, they realise that they have actually been quite lucky in a number of ways.
‘We were in a really tough place,’ recalls Lesley. ‘We were going to the Maudsley every day for ten weeks, driving a round trip from Southend, which took three hours there and three hours back, to get Francesca refed. At the time, we were fortunate enough to be working, able to stick to the meal plan and put the petrol in the car - although it has cost us a lot of money - but some people can’t afford that, and desperately need help.’
It was this, along with their experience of the ‘fabulous’ staff at the Maudsley, that inspired them to fundraise for SLaM. Kevin’s son and daughter-in-law, Robbie and Amy, kick-started it all by running the Brighton Marathon - both achieving fantastic times and raising over £1,000 in the process. Then, together with the help of Kevin’s workplace, The Rendezvous Casino, in Southend, the family put on a Charity Gala Black Tie and Diamonds Dinner on Sunday 3 May, raising an incredible £17,900.
All the casino’s big players were invited personally by Kevin and supported SLaM by purchasing tickets for £50 each. Attendees were treated to a meal, as well as an auction and raffle which both consisted of huge prizes that had been donated by local, national and international businesses. There was also a charity carwash that took place the day before.
‘We’d like some of the funds raised to be used as a discretionary payment to somebody who hasn’t got the money to get their child to the hospital easily, or to stick to the meal plan for 10-12 weeks,’ says Lesley. ‘We want to be able to take that pressure off when they’re trying to cope with the diagnosis and support their child, while the situation is already really difficult.’
After receiving Francesca’s diagnosis, Kevin struggled to come to terms with it and took time off work to deal with his own depression. Through going to family therapy - alongside the support he’s received from his colleagues - he says he’s gotten through the worst.
‘Having pretty much cracked up with the initial diagnosis, going through MFT before I went back to work enabled me to speak to everybody and be open about Francesca. I felt at ease talking about my daughter’s illness,' explains Kevin.
‘I’m looking forward to spending the evening with all these people who have supported me,' he said before the event. 'I’m going to stand up and make a speech to say thank you to everybody who’s there and for their kind donations.’
Francesca is now in recovery, thanks to ongoing treatment from Maudsley Hospital and the support of her family and friends. In a brave move, having initially told her friends that she was off school due to glandular fever, she made a video confessing the real reason for her ongoing absence and posted it on Facebook.
‘It dawned on her that having been off for so long that the glandular fever excuse wasn’t ringing true, so she made the video,’ says Kevin. ‘A lot of people have said what a brave girl she is to be so honest and found inspiration from that; some have even been encouraged to speak up about their own mental health issues. It’s all been positive for her.’
You can donate to the Hicks’s fundraising page or follow their story on their Facebook page, ‘Francesca’s hope’.
There are lots of ways you can fundraise for SLaM like the Hicks family.
The number of deaths linked to legal highs rose from 10 in 2009 to 68 in 2012, according to the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths, and drug misuse deaths also rose sharply last year. The Angelus Foundation, supported by Maudsley Charity, campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of these drugs.
'Legal highs' are defined as experimental research chemicals, or ones sold as plant feed, which are available on the high street because they escape classification under the Misuse of Drugs Act. One popular such drug was mephedrone or 'meow-meow' which was successfully banned in 2010.
Just this month ministers announced that five legal highs - including one popular alternative to cocaine - have been banned. This news came based on recommendations from the government’s official drug advisers that these substances should face a temporary ban of 12 months while a full assessment of the harm they posed was undertaken.
This is a new strategy to deal with the fact that, under existing drug law, banning one substance only results in chemists tweaking the molecular compound slightly to produce a 'new' drug.
The Angelus Foundation seeks to raise awareness in young people of the dangers of taking legal recreational drugs. These substances usually emerge as alternatives to illegal drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy but can be equally as harmful
It is comprised of a group of experts which make up the Angelus Advisory Board, who bring together their expertise from chemical, medical and behavioural sciences, and the areas of enforcement and misuse of substances.
It was founded in 2009 by Maryon Stewart, the health practitioner, author and broadcaster, as a result of personal tragedy. Her 21-year-old daughter, Hester, who was a medical student and athlete, passed away after consuming what was (at the time) a legal high called GBL in April 2009.
‘We’ve been very grateful for the support we’ve had from Maudsley,’ says Jeremy Sare, Director for Policy and Communications at Angelus Foundation. ‘It’s been absolutely critical to our campaign and pivotal in our ability to deliver to our target groups.’
Find out more about the Angelus Foundation and the funding it has received from Maudsley Charity.]]>
There are so many amazing projects that Maudsley Charity is proud to support, made possible by the generosity of our donors. One of these is the Wheel of Well-being which aims to improve personal well-being and mindfulness through positive changes to six specific life elements (Body, Mind, Spirit, People, Place and Planet).
It is based on research that has shown us how certain actions, activities and practices can improve mood, reduce the risk of depression, strengthen relationships, keep us healthy and even add seven years to our lives.
On Tuesday 12 May, we'll be showcasing Maudsley Charity-funded projects in an open marketplace event focused around the Wheel of Well-being’s six areas of positive change. The event takes place at the ORTUS in Camberwell from 10am - 3pm, and there's no need to book. Just pop along on the day and find out more about these projects!
The projects being showcased are:
There will also be the opportunity to find out how you can get involved with fundraising for SLaM.
Find out more about these projects, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 848 7915 to find out more about the event. We hope to see you there!
CUES-Ed was inspired by feedback from children experiencing mental health difficulties. The CAMHS team at SLaM (along with colleagues from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience) wanted to see if cognitive behavioural therapy could help children experiencing distressing and unusual experiences (such as hearing a voice that other people can’t hear). The therapy was designed to help children develop coping strategies that would reduce their distress and build their resilience.
Those who took part in the Coping with Unusual Experiences Study (CUES) found the therapy helpful, but felt that all children should be taught it at an earlier age. They also suggested that there is a silence around mental wellbeing and emotional vulnerability at school, and that there is still stigma surrounding mental health issues.
So the team decided to devise a programme that would educate children about maintaining their mental health and help build resilience from a young age. Its delivery has been designed as a whole class approach, with the aim of normalising discussions about mental health.
The 'Who I Am and What I Can: How to Keep Your Brain Amazing' package consists of six sessions run by SLaM psychologists and CBT therapists, with teachers actively involved in each session.
‘The six sessions are delivered to whole classes of 7 to 10-year-olds in an active and engaging way,’ explains Debbie Plant, Clinical Psychologist and team lead who also takes a lead on delivery of the sessions.
‘The cognitive behavioural therapy approach enables children to learn that their thoughts, feelings and behaviour are interconnected and that there are practical things they can do to manage life’s ups and downs, both at home and at school.’
The children are taught a range of cognitive and behavioural coping strategies like relaxation, problem solving and positive self-talk. The sessions are fun and interactive, making use of a variety of materials and media including animations, video clips, music, quizzes and fun hands-on activities.
The colourful branding has been made specifically with children in mind, with direction taken from kids who took part in the pilot programme.
‘The designs help the abstract ideas become more concrete and make learning more memorable. The aim is to engage children in a positive, creative, fun manner whilst developing a strong understanding of mental health and wellbeing,’ says Karen Bracegirdle (CBT Therapist involved in the creation and development of CUES-Ed).
The children receive Ed’s Survival Pack (Ed is the mascot of the programme) to reinforce and encourage learning between the sessions, and teachers are encouraged to set the children home tasks so they can practice what they’ve learnt in their day-to-day lives.
Since finishing a successful pilot study which had positive feedback, the team have worked with over 350 children across six schools in Southwark. There is great potential for the programme to benefit even more children from different age groups. The team are frequently asked by head teachers whether the package is available for both older and younger primary school children, and in future the team hope to expand and adapt the materials to meet local needs.
Help us continue our work supporting children, young people and adults with mental health issues. Please make a donation to SLaM today.]]>
This is the first in our series of staff profiles which will highlight some of the amazing people who work at South London and Maudsley. Richard Corrigall has worked in the Snowsfields Adolescent Unit since it opened in 1998 in its original location of Guy’s Hospital. Now located at Maudsley Hospital, the inpatient and day unit helps young people between the ages of 12 to 18 who have a serious mental illness, supporting them in their recovery and transition back to the community.
What is the name of your role?
Consultant Adolescent Psychiatrist.
Which part of South London and Maudsley do you work in?
Snowsfields Adolescent Unit, which is based in Mapother House at the Maudsley Hospital.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I do ward rounds for team-based care planning, and have face-to-face meetings with young people to catch up on their progress. We hold Care Programme Approach meetings to get young people, carers and professionals together and map out discharge plans. I help with the art therapy group on Thursdays. I also have lots of emails to respond to, unfortunately!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Helping a young person to recover from a major mental health crisis. Nothing feels more rewarding than seeing a teenager get back to the life that they want and deserve.
Which part of your job is most challenging?
I have to deal with a lot of form-filling and box-ticking, which I don’t really enjoy.
What is your favourite thing about South London and Maudsley?
Working alongside top-quality clinicians and inspiring researchers.
What’s your proudest achievement in your career to date?
Starting up Snowsfields Adolescent Unit from scratch in 1998. We were the first adolescent psychiatric unit in the UK to make all of our beds available at all hours for emergency admissions.
What do you like to do outside of work in your free time?
Cycling and photography; I’m obsessed with both!
Name one thing that the service users might not know about you.
I suffered from a severe episode of depression, but made a good recovery.
If you could only take one thing to a desert island, what would it be?
An off-road bike to explore the island with.
Read about the Long Gallery at South London and Maudsley, which recently featured an exhibition by service users that was coordinated by Richard. If you were inspired by this story, perhaps you'd consider fundraising for SLaM.]]>
Bethlem Archives and Museum began in 1969 and has been managed by registered charity Bethlem Art and History Collections Trust since 1992. The museum houses over 1,000 fascinating artworks and historical artefacts relating to mental illness, and the archives hold the key to the hospital’s history in documents including staff records, correspondence, maps and photographs.
Victoria Northwood, Head of Archives and Museum, explains why the move to the new building is so important.
‘The Archives and Museum at Bethlem have always been rather a ”hidden gem”, she says. ‘The move to new facilities will be transformative, enabling us to publicise our collections more widely and welcome an increased number of visitors.’
The museum will feature permanent and temporary exhibitions, events and a learning space that will be used to deliver an education programme and for SLaM’s Recovery College to run courses and talks on mental health and well-being.
Alongside artworks by contemporary services users, visitors can see pieces by former patients of Bethlem. These include works by Victorian painter Richard Dadd, famous for his depictions of fairies and the supernatural; drawings by 20th century artist Louis Wain that feature psychedelic depictions of cats (see painting below); and the intricate painting The Maze created by Canadian artist William Kurelek while he was a patient at the Maudsley in 1953.
The art deco staircase in the administration building is now flanked by two of the museum’s most famous and striking pieces: the life-size statues of ‘Raving and Melancholy Madness’ that were displayed at the entrance to Bethlem Hospital (then known as Bedlam) from 1676 to 1815.
Bethlem Gallery will also be provided with a new gallery and studio space. Established in 1997, the gallery highlights the importance of art as therapy and features the work of SLaM service users. Both the museum and gallery have gained an international reputation for excellence in the field of arts in health. Now, with the organisations under one roof, visitors will be able to experience artwork from the historic collection that spans centuries alongside that of current artists involved with SLaM’s services today. All this has been made possible thanks to generous donors.
‘We’re thrilled to have opened this pioneering and unique space which brings together a rich collection of history and art,’ says Paul Mitchell, CEO of Maudsley Charity. ‘The museum and gallery project is a perfect example of how charitable donations can help to support and preserve our history and enable us to provide a space that is open and accessible to everyone.
‘We work hard to break down barriers and challenge stigma in mental health and this project will enable us to work even closer with our local communities and the wider public. The project would not have been possible without the help of a number of large donors and we are especially grateful to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund who made substantial donations on top of the investment made by the Maudsley Charity.’
Your support enables us to fund projects like this that help people with mental health issues and challenge stigma. Please make a donation today so we can continue our work.
Below: painting by Louis Wain from the collection
Our supporters did amazing things to fundraise for SLaM in 2014. There was an abseil down a 100ft building, a swim in the Thames, a miniature art exhibition, a pub quiz and our dedicated runners took part in the Bupa 10,000, Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon and Virgin Money London Marathon. We’re so grateful to all of our fundraisers, donors, volunteers and advocates who help us to make a difference to people with mental health issues.
Thanks to generous donations, these are some of the projects that have been funded this year:
We couldn’t do it without you – thank you.
Let’s make 2015 even better. Why not take on a new challenge this year and raise money for SLaM?
The magazine provides adults with mental health issues a platform to express their creativity through writing, art and design, and is supported by generous donations.
‘CoolFruit gives people with mental health issues a voice; they need to be heard a lot more about what’s happening to them,’ says Annie Spinster, Coordinator of CoolFruit.
‘There’s an amazing amount of talent in the group and it’s lovely watching people’s skills develop and seeing how excited everybody is when their work is featured. Contributors feel proud to be able to show their family and friends what they’re doing and be treated seriously as artists.’
The fourth issue of the magazine is now available to read online. The December issue reflects the themes of the festive season together with items about important social issues. It features poetry, recipes and artwork, as well as articles on diverse subjects such as self-advocacy, Seasonal Affective Disorder and the history of the umbrella.
Working on the magazine provides contributors with an opportunity to improve their writing, research or design skills, as well as develop a portfolio of work for those who are preparing for college or employment.
‘It gives them confidence and they get to meet new people within a supportive environment,’ says Annie. ‘Our volunteers have told us that it’s a lot easier to share their experiences than it has been in other settings – and we’re good at going at people’s own paces.
‘Over half the volunteers who have worked on and since moved on from the project have actually gone on to work or college, so that is something we’re doing quite well.’
The online format with unrestricted space encourages a wide range of content, so CoolFruit run an open submissions policy for anyone within CoolTan Arts who wishes to participate.
Hattie is a volunteer at CoolTan Arts and has been working on the CoolFruit team as a writer since early 2014. She says there are a number of elements she enjoys, such as the supportive group environment.
‘It’s a good thing to have structure in my week and allows me to meet up with people that have a common goal: producing the magazine. I try and write about things that I wish I had known and would have found helpful. It feels like we’re doing something that not only helps us, but helps other people.’
Read the December issue of CoolFruit.
You can help support projects like this - make a donation to SLaM today.]]>
Part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Clinical and Academic Group, Carelink is a mental health and therapeutic service in Southwark for children in foster care and their carers. It offers support to young people up to the age of 18 who may be going through emotional distress or behavioural difficulties, often as a result of challenging early life experiences that resulted in them going into care.
‘The majority of the children we see have experienced abuse or neglect growing up,’ says Ella. ‘Carelink gives them somewhere to talk about distressing things or helps them use play, art, or drama to express their feelings. Support is also given to foster carers around how best to help the child in their new home and to schools around how to support child's development.’
Ella, who has worked at SLaM since June 2014, was inspired to fundraise by one particular young service user with learning difficulties and her interaction with Carelink’s resources.
‘She was due to transition from foster care to adoption,’ explains Ella. ‘We were using two dolls’ houses to try and help her think about where she was now and where she was going and to allow her to begin to express her feelings around the move. The girl looked at the dolls’ house that represented her new home and began to inspect it closely, looking at the various bits of furniture, which were all quite worn and worse for wear due to repeated use. It was as if she questioned whether she would like to move into this old, shabby house.
‘This experience led me to think that raising money for more resources such as new dolls’ houses, furniture and art materials would help our work with children who were very much in need of support.’
The Royal Parks Half Marathon starts and finishes in Hyde Park, following a course through four of the capital’s magnificent Royal Parks and past its most iconic landmarks. The weather on the day was fine, allowing the 16,000 runners to complete the picturesque route in bright autumnal sunshine, all cheered on by around 50,000 spectators.
Ella finished in an impressive 1 hour 57 minutes, and smashed her £400 target by raising over £525 for Carelink.
'The atmosphere carried me along and I was thrilled with my time,' she says. 'Walking up and down the stairs was sore for a while afterwards! But all my friends and family’s support and donations have made it well worth it. There’s great work being done at SLaM and it feels good to be able to support that.’
If you were inspired by this story, find out how you can take part in an event for SLaM.]]>
Ten talented graduates are receiving financial support from a new scholarship scheme so that they can study on postgraduate mental health courses at the prestigious Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN, formerly known as the Institute of Psychiatry), which is part of King’s College London.
Funding for the King’s Access to the Professions Scholarship scheme comes from HEFCE (the government’s higher education funding body) and from Maudsley Charity, which is working in partnership with the IoPPN and Maudsley Learning to run the project.
‘We are aiming to encourage under-represented groups to enter the profession,’ says Genevieve Glover, Maudsley Learning’s Managing Director. ‘Winning a scholarship at the world-renowned institute is a great opportunity for people who may not normally be able to fund postgraduate study.’
This summer, Maudsley Learning helped the IoPPN to promote the scheme and to draw up a shortlist of scholarship candidates for recruitment into postgraduate courses that cover a wide range of subjects such as child and adolescent mental health, family therapy, dementia, addiction and neuro-imaging.
‘We have used our networks in mental health, our fantastic venue and our social media to complement the IoPPN’s promotion of the scheme and attract students from a broader section of society,’ says Genevieve. ‘We’ve been delighted with the academic qualifications and talents of the people who have applied.’
To prepare them for the year ahead, the successful scholars took part in a week-long summer school at the ORTUS learning and events centre, produced with the IoPPN and hosted by Maudsley Learning.
Maudsley Learning will help arrange suitable internships to ensure scholars gain hands-on experience in a variety of settings, something that will be of great value as they navigate towards possible careers in mental health services.
As the scheme is a pilot with funding for one year, the team involved in the project will monitor the scholars’ progress to provide evidence of its success in encouraging a wider cross-section of people to enter mental health professions.
‘This sort of collaboration is exactly what Maudsley Learning is here for,’ says Genevieve. ‘With our strong social agenda and impressive network of partnerships, we can help the IoPPN to reach out to new audiences and open doors to people who may have struggled to afford postgraduate study.'
Your support can help fund students to continue their studies in vital areas of mental health.
Find out more about the scholarships.]]>