Celebrating International Nurses Day 2024: A Thank You to Our Nurses!

Celebrating International Nurses Day 2024: A Thank You to Our Nurses!

Celebrating International Nurses Day 2024: A Thank You to Our Nurses!

As we commemorate International Nurses Day this year, we want to shine a spotlight on the incredible work of nurses in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). These nurses play a vital role in supporting the well-being and mental health of children and young people, often in challenging and complex circumstances.

In CAMHS, nurses are not only caregivers but also advocates, educators, and sources of comfort for both service users, their families and carers. They provide essential mental health care services, helping young people navigate through difficult emotions, cope with challenges, and develop resilience.

This year, we wanted to do something special to show our appreciation. We encouraged our CAMHS staff members to take a moment to say thank you to a CAMHS based nurse who has made a difference in their lives or the lives of others.

The response was overwhelming, with heartfelt messages pouring in from across the directorate. We hope these messages of gratitude not only warm the hearts of our nurses but also served as a reminder of the impact they have on the lives of patients, families, and colleagues alike. Happy International Nurses Day to all our incredible nurses. Here’s to celebrating you today and every day.

Read all the messages below: 

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Mike Brodie – Lambeth CAMHS

“I want to shout out Mike, our amazing Children’s Nurse who has a long history working in Lambeth CAMHS. Mike has worked within many teams in Lambeth CAMHS over the years and is currently the Clinical Service Lead for our Lighthouse (front door) team.

Mike is always on hand to offer time, guidance, help and support to our young people parents and carers as well as his colleagues. His hard work and dedication has assisted Lambeth with consistently reaching the contact within 28 days target. His is a compassionate and caring nurse. Lambeth CAMHS wouldn’t be the same without him. Thanks Mike Happy International Nurses Day!

Charlotte Chesson – Bethlem Adolescent Unit (BAU)

“I would like to nominate Charlotte Chesson because she is kind, caring, always so calm and chilled, very popular with the young people. Not long after I started my role I remember walking past a young person’s bedroom, Charlotte was in there with her stroking her hand whilst she was sleeping. It was evident how much Charlotte cared and that memory has stayed with me.”

– Ward Social Worker

“Charlotte defo needs celebrating!!! Charlotte is always bringing a calm and empathic approach to the ward, incredibly organised and great at delegating and ensuring the team gets things done, despite being busy is very present with the young people and it’s clear to see she has built good rapport with many of the young people.”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

Paul Hunt

“Very dedicated to his role across all his years at CAMHS. Always keeps his calm even in crisis situations with our young people.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Natalie Gagg – Bethlem Adolescent Unit (BAU)

“Natalie has the perfect balance of being firm but fair, very funny, certainly has a connection / very popular with the young people who she knows really well.  She’s very committed, always happy and upbeat and brings a positive vibe/her whole self when she is on shift on the ward.”

– Ward Social Worker

“Such a wonderful nurse! So caring, kind, hardworking and all knowing! Her ability to juggle everything that is going on and hold everyone in mind is amazing. Hearing her laugh brightens up my day.”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

“I think Natalie has to be the most passionate Nurse on BAU. She has huge amounts of empathy towards the young people that they respond well to and has a strong work ethic that demands everyone to work at their best which is what you want and need in an inpatient environment. She is incredibly bubbly, and this rubs off on other people around her. We need more Natalies!”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

Gillene Thomas

“Calm and controlled, champions our international nurses wherever possible and is supportive to colleagues.”

Amanda Broughton

You are a confident, experienced and a skilled leader who inspires our newer nurses everyday – thank you for your dry sense of humour too!”

Jide Akintomide

“Jide is Jide and I am thankful for his containment, support and trust throughout the years.

Nina Hammond – Snowsfields Adolescent Unit & Southwark CAMHS

“Skilled and knowledgeable beyond her years.  Will say ‘yes’ to anyone asking for some help and has an anecdote for every scenario.”

“Thank you Nina. Your commitment to our young people and staff is amazing. You bring your lovely personality and passion to everything you do, making a positive impact on those around you. Your dedication does not go unnoticed, and I am grateful for all that you do.”

Amy-Rose Olah

“She always makes space even though she is always very busy, juggling several issues. She is quick to think and gives thoughtful answers when there may be issues that come up. She is supportive of the young people and the therapies. She knows her ward so well. She is kind, gentle and firm at the same time which again I can see that these are qualities that young people respond so well too.”

– Ward Art Psychotherapist

David Condon – CAMHS Community Matron

“Kind, experienced, proactive, thoughtful and helpful – what more do you want from a senior nurse?”

Jacob Rolling

“Making his mark already in the team, passionate, creative and bakes!”

Latoya Morgan – Lewisham CAMHS

“Shout out also to Latoya for all that she does, under the radar a lot of the time, for NDT!”

Lee Wadsworth

Our in house Reducing Restrictive Practice expert, thank you for championing youth and parent involvement in this sensitive work.”

Holly Dawson

“I would like to give a shout-out to Holly Dawson from Symbol Team:

Holly’s dedication to supporting young people and their carers is evident every day as she consistently goes above and beyond to ensure their well-being. She concerns herself not only with the individuals directly under her care but also with other clients and, notably, our team. She consistently strives to improve teamwork and thinks of ways to support everyone surrounding her. 

Working alongside Holly is a pleasure, as her passion for her work and dedication characterise her. We are truly grateful for the impact she makes within the team. Thank you, Holly, for your invaluable contributions.”

Femi Lawal

“Thank you for being so diligent in your care for young people and an example to all.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Janet Millanaise-Taylor

“Janet has such a lovely calming way about her, I think that she demonstrates compassionate care in both her interactions with the young people and also how she speaks about them in handover to MDT.”

– Ward Occupational Therapy Apprentice

Joely Horner

“Flourished in her new role as RMN and always advocates for the young people. Her baked cookies are also 10/10!.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Olivia Akenzua

“I wanted to nominate Olivia, she is so quick off the mark with every aspect of her work. Very organised and so brilliant with each of the young people. She knows everything about all of them and her hard work is clear.”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

Kerry Gribble – Croydon CAMHS

“A big shout out to Kerry , who is so passionate about being physical health lead in Croydon CAMHS and always has a smile on her face – we appreciate you Kerry!!”

Letisha Spencer

“Letisha is new, but she has hit the ground running, feels like she has been part of the team for ages. She is warm and uses her sense of humour to connect with the young people. She has taken initiative and empowered the young people to take some responsibility whilst they are on the ward in the form of corridor reps. Generally she works very hard and deserves a shout out”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

Georgia Reed

“Amazing nurse who cares about staff as well as young people. Very good at boundary setting. Lights up the room with her fun presence!”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Nicola Jenkin – Lewisham CAMHS

“She works tirelessly, she is extremely knowledgeable and willing to spend time discussing issues and sharing that knowledge. Nicola really embodies ‘grace under fire’ as she remains consistent, warm and cheerful in spite of any pressure.”

“Nicola deserves all this love and appreciation!

“Nicola is an extremely hard working and empathetic colleague and a professional for the service users. She is professional, supportive and friendly, a great colleague to have!”

“Nicola goes above and beyond for patients, families and her colleagues. She is always available for advice and support and I am proud to be able to nominate such a wonderful role model.”

“Nicola, who works tirelessly to help yp and families and a great colleague to work with!” 🙂

“She regularly goes above and beyond for her families.  She is selflessly committed to their welfare. Added to this she a thoughtful and supportive colleague who generously shares her thinking and knowledge.”

“I have worked with Nicola since she started within CAMHS, and she has always had a welcoming approach.  Nicola is also there when you want help and make sure her team members are okay.  Nicola works extremely hard.”

“Nicola has been amazing in her role as a nurse for Lewisham CAMHS, we could not function without her!”

“I would also like to express my gratitude to Nicola. She has been really welcoming and wonderful to work with. She takes time out of her very busy schedule to make sure other members of the team are doing okay. She’s extremely hard working  and kind. In my very limited time here it’s been a very pleasant experience to interact and work with her.”

Nicola’s long service and dedication to Lewisham CAMHS, not only in a therapeutic capacity but with her specialist prescribing skills and even a period leading our safeguarding make her a worthy candidate for a shout out.  Along with our other wonderful nurses we really appreciate her!” 💐

“Nicola has been tirelessly supporting families with ADHD in Lewisham for years. Nicola is patient, kind and resilient when being asked to do more than she can. She is compassionate and works very hard to make sure no one is forgotten. She tries hard to be flexible to accommodate people who need prioritising due to risk. Thank you Nicola!!”

“I have a term to sum up Nicola…An absolute STAR!!! She’s very diligent, dedicated and goes above and beyond for not only our service users, but her colleagues.

 She’ll happily help anyone navigate this service. A real representative of our Trust Values…Kindness, Respect & Together

 Nicola, we salute you beyond Nurses Day, thank you!” 😊

Isabella Awilo

“Always tries to find the time to have 1:1 engagement with the young people even on a busy shift.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Fran Lada

“A big shoutout to Fran, for all the amazing work, dedication, and thoughtful care she provides to the Hope Project, and the children and families she supports. We really appreciate it, thanks Fran!”

– Clinical Psychologist Southwark CAMHS

Ziza Godji

“Her experience and expertise always makes the staff and ward feel safe and managed well.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Catherine Olaseinde

“Her calming presence makes staff and young people warm to her on shift.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Charlotte Bates

“She is so knowledgeable about every aspect of running the ward and all the young person. She is caring and fair with her decision making and doesn’t get angry when I ask her lots of annoying questions! You can really see the hard work she puts into ever shift and how this really helps the team. Her psychology knowledge can also really add to MDT discussions and help her when implementing the DBT approach we have adopted on the ward.”

– Ward Trainee Youth Intensive Psychological Practitioner

Bethlem Adolescent Unit (BAU) Nurses

“Can I give a shout out to all the nurses at BAU, for always staying calm and always carrying on. I’m forever amazed by how they continue to find creative ways to support young people, even when there are stressful things happening on the ward.”

– Ward Family Therapist

Victor Coker

“Goes the extra mile for staff wellbeing i.e. birthday cakes!”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Patricia Onyike

“Rain or shine she always greets the young people, families and staff with a smile.”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

Mary Lansana

“Despite being a new addition to the team (PICU ward), her senior presence ensures the shift runs as smooth as possible. She is a role model for all!”

– Ward Assistant Psychologist

“Mary was the first person who welcome me to SAU, 20 years ago on my first day on the ward. She has the gift in making you feel heard, listened to and make your work feel valued even when she is juggling a busy ward.

She is gentle, consistent in her approach, calm for the young people but able to put firm containing boundaries. She always has a smile even at her most stress personally or professionally. She has been a great source of warmth and support to all of us at SAU and particularly the young people and their families too. I certainly miss her loads. She makes you feel you belong!”

– Ward Art Psychotherapist

£2.5m to roll-out Advance Choice Documents

£2.5m to roll-out Advance Choice Documents

£2.5m to roll-out Advance Choice Documents

A new project led by researchers at the Trust of South London and Maudsley and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, will result in the largest implementation and study of Advance Choice Documents in Europe. For this project, the Maudsley Charity has committed over £2.5m in funding.

a young girl holding a leaf

By the end of the two-year project, the team aims to have Advance Choice Document resources in use across mental health services in the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. An extensive implementation study will also be delivered which will, alongside tested resources, provide the basis for a ‘recipe book’ for Advance Choice Documents to support other trusts in using them across the country.

Advance Choice Documents are written when someone is well and set out how they would like to be treated during a future mental health crisis or relapse. Their introduction was recommended in the 2018 Independent Review of the Mental Health Act and by the parliamentary committee on the draft of the mental health bill in 2023.  Research has shown they can reduce detentions under the Mental Health Act and improve relationships with mental health professionals.

Black people are disproportionately likely to be detained under the Mental Health Act and there is a lack of trust in mental health services in this community. Wider adoption of Advance Choice Documents has the potential to help address these issues.

The new project builds on the success of the recent Advance Statement for Black African and Caribbean project (AdStAC) where researchers and clinicians at the IoPPN and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust have been working to improve Black service users’ experiences in mental health services by co-producing and testing resources for the implementation of Advance Choice Documents.

The new project will roll out and evaluate the use of Advance Choice Documents across the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust for anyone who has been detained under the Mental Health Act. This includes children and adolescents who will be treated at the new Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People, set to open in south London in 2025.

“Reducing detentions of our service users under the Mental Health Act has been a Trust-wide priority, together with the PCREF priorities of reducing racial disparities in detentions under the Mental Health Act, as we know we have a disproportionate number of Black men detained on our inpatient wards. From our work on the AdStAC project, we know that Advance Choice Documents are more than just medical preferences; it’s about capturing the essence of a person—their values, their hopes, their fears. With this new funding from Maudsley Charity, we can get Advance Choice Documents offered to service users Trust-wide.”

Nathalie Zacharias

Director of Therapies, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Rebecca Gray, Chief Executive of Maudsley Charity, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to support this new, large-scale project which builds on the earlier work of this impressive team and has relevant lived experience at the centre of its design. Many people with a severe mental illness report that they have too little control and voice in the care they receive. These concerns are particularly high for Black patients, who are disproportionately impacted by severe mental illness and for whom we know trust in mental health services is not high.

“This project has the potential to address these issues and push the needle forward on the use of Advance Choice Documents across the country.”

Professor Claire Henderson, Clinical Professor of Public Mental Health at King’s IoPPN and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: 

“Having worked on multiple research projects on these types of documents since the late 1990s, I am very happy to have the support of the Trust and Maudsley Charity to make Advance Choice Documents available to people who have previously been detained under the Mental Health Act, and in particular Black people, who experience disproportionately high rates of detention.”

Lorna, who is a carer and advocate for her son Ryan, who lives with psychosis said:

“I don’t want my son to be sectioned. I want to keep him well, so an Advance Choice Document is what we need. What will make him unwell would probably be him not taking his medication.

“I’m just hoping for a system where you put my son’s name in and the ideal thing is they’ll know where Ryan lives, that they’ll know to contact me or to contact somebody that will know what the next steps are.

“I think I know my son better than the health care professionals. I’ve felt through the journey I was never listened to. The big thing would be that reassurance that he would be taken care of in the way he wants to be taken care of even if I’m not there.”

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Dr Clark features in film exploring homophobia in football with Rylan

Dr Clark features in film exploring homophobia in football with Rylan

Dr Clark features in film exploring homophobia in football with Rylan

Opening in 2025, our Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People will change the story on mental health and transform the lives of children and young people. Based on the South London and Maudsley site, the centre has been developed through a unique partnership between King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, Maudsley Charity and the Trust led by Consultant Psychiatrist & Clinical Director of CAMHS, Dr Bruce Clark.

a young girl holding a leaf

In the run up to the opening, Dr Clark, has featured in the documentary Rylan: Football, Homophobia and Me hosted by Rylan Clark, This Morning and Radio 2 presenter.

In the film, Rylan, who suffered abuse as a child for being gay, speaks to footballers to explore why homophobia remains such a big problem in the game.

Reflecting on his love of football, Rylan discusses how safe he feels continuing to support the game given the common use of homophobic attitudes in the game such as on the terraces.

He also talks about his mental health struggles and the severe homophobic bullying he experienced including multiple skull fractures.

Speaking to Dr Clark, Rylan said that ‘in a sick way’ he is almost glad the attack happened as it taught him to never treat anyone badly.

Dr Clark, who filmed with Rylan at the Maudsley Hospital, says:

“It was a pleasure to be part of such an important and well-received documentary that shines a light on the mental health of young people who experience marginalisation and homophobic bullying.”

Participation in this documentary, aired during LGBTQ+ History month, sits alongside other initiatives the Trust are undertaking to celebrate the rich tapestry of LGBTQ+ experiences within our community. 

Rylan: Football, Homophobia and Me is available on TNT1 via on-demand platform Discovery +, Sky, Virgin and Amazon Prime. 

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Children’s Mental Health Week 2024

Children’s Mental Health Week 2024

Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 Blog

Children’s Mental Health Week, ran from 5 February – 11 February. The theme  this year was My Voice Matters. The theme was about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves.

This week we celebrated Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week. Place2Be wants all children and young people, whoever they are, and wherever they are in the world, to be able to say – and believe – “My Voice Matters”.

We used the opportunity to showcase how we as a Partnership encourage young people to use their voices across our services. If you missed any of our content, we’ve summarised it all below.

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Monday 5 February

Our wonderful service user Catherine brillantly expressed their vision for Children’s Mental Health Week through art!

Meet Oak, our amazing service user. Oak explains the importance and benefits of using your voice. Express yourself, be heard – whether through sign language or art.  ‘My Voice Matters’ is about empowering children and young people by providing them with the tools they need to express themselves.

Tuesday 6 February

Breaking the silence with a goal in mind! ⚽

This #ChildrensMentalHealthWeek Anton Ferdinand tackles the stigma around #mentalhealth with the same passion he brought to the pitch. Now, his new dream team includes his little ones, teaching them that their voices can shine as brightly as the stadium lights. ✨

Remember, it’s okay to talk about how you feel—every voice counts in this game!

Wednesday 7 February

Raised in Peckham, Anton Ferdinand is no stranger to the unique challenges faced by young people in London. Discover how our transformative Partnership and the innovative Pears Maudsley Centre have inspired him.

We were pleased to be featured by NHS Providers in their latest insightful blog. The latest blog feature shines a light on how collaborative design and service user-led innovation can lead to transformational changes in healthcare.

Our dedication to pioneering young people’s mental health services has received recognition, and it’s all thanks to the core of our mission: the young individuals, families, and carers who have been integral to the co-creation of the Pears Maudsley Centre. Our commitment to listening to and incorporating their perspectives is not just something we talk about; it has been at the very core of our design process.

Read more

Thursday 7 February

On Thursday, our amazing Inpatient CAMHS Team held a successful ‘CAMHS Fete’ held for our young service users at our Bethlem Royal Hospital.

The event was held to celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week and had an amazing turn out. Thank you to all the young people, staff (humans and dogs alike), and various therapy animals who attended – even during the rain. Our young people were encouraged to creatively express the theme of the week #MyVoiceMatters. T-shirts, meaningful messages and artwork on megaphones designed by current inpatients were displayed proudly for all to see.

Meet is Kay*. She took part in the DISCOVER programme, our award-winning schools-based workshop programme supporting 16-18 year olds to manage stress and worry.

This week, she’s used her voice to support others deal with the aftereffects of grief.  Listen to her full story and find out more about the DISCOVER Programme

*Kay is a pseudonym used to protect her anonymity. In the video, her words are spoken by an actor.

In his third video of the week, Anton Ferdinand opens up about his mental health journey through grief after the passing of his mum . His powerful story of seeking support teaches empathy and strength.

Friday 8 February

“Speaking out doesn’t make you weak”

In his final video for the week, Anton Ferdinand reminds us to use our voices and ask for help when we need support with our mental health. 

Saturday 8 February

Art in healthcare spaces goes beyond decoration. It has the power to create a sense of calm and promote wellbeing for all who walk through the Pears Maudsley Centre doors when they open. Participation and engagement from those with lived experience is vital to ensuring our service users benefit from therapeutic artwork.

Discover how Naz helped shape our arts strategy.

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My Voice Matters: The Young People’s Art Group

My Voice Matters: The Young People’s Art Group

My Voice Matters: The Young People’s Art Group

The role of art has become part of wider discussions in relation to the design of healthcare environments as it can create an increased sense of calm, ambience, and impact positively on staff and service users’ wellbeing. Participation and engagement from those with lived experience is vital to ensuring our service users benefit from therapeutic artwork.

Taken from Marcus Coates’ workshop

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A new arts programme was developed with the Bethlem Gallery and includes site-specific artwork which will be displayed across the building. The Young People’s Art Group, a group of young people with lived experience of mental health conditions, was formed for this project and took a leading role in appointing the artists for each commission for the centre and providing feedback directly to the artist at each stage of their artwork.

The commissioned artists, Bethany Williams, Marcus Coates, Sahra Hersi, Sarah Carpenter and Carlos Cortes have also held workshops with several young people using our services and are currently preparing their final artwork to be installed at the Centre.

One of the young people to take part in The Young People’s Art Group was Naz. Most recently Naz edited text for pears Maudsley artwork interpretation to make text more accessible for young people. Speaking on her numerous involvements in the project, she explained:

“”I felt as if I’ve been encouraged to share my voice and had my opinions heard and given value during the participation work, I’ve taken part in. Participation work has been an important part of my recovery since I was 16 years old as it’s helped me set goals and achieve them and keep my mind occupied with something productive and purposeful. It has led me to many new and exciting opportunities and pushed me out of my comfort zone.”

Taken from Sahra Hersi’s workshop

“The most recent participation project I’ve taken part in is the Young People’s Art Group for Pears Maudsley. Exploring wellbeing and art is something that really interests me as I’d love to be an art therapist and art has always been something that has brought me a lot of comfort and helped me express myself during difficult times. I felt as if my voice mattered when I helped choose the artists who created the display cabinets for the Pears Maudsley Centre and when I was invited to speak at a roundtable discussion at the Science Gallery on behalf of the Young People’s Art Group.”

“In the past, I’ve also done participation work with other charities and organisations including one that helped me learn debating skills. It was a really enjoyable experience that still means a lot to me as debate training helped me feel more confident and learn to advocate for myself and express my needs and have open discussions about mental health. I feel debate training has opened a lot of doors for me and has been a stepping stone in the journey of participation work I’m involved in now, collaborating with Pears Maudsley and even continuing my participation work in a professional setting.

Taken from Bethany Williams’ workshop

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