They've released a new video with updates on their progress since first opening in 2014.
SLaM Recovery College Manager. I’m an occupational therapist by profession.
SLaM Recovery College is based at the Maudsley Hospital within the Corporate Occupational Therapy service led by Gabrielle Richards, but we deliver courses and workshops right across Croydon, Lewisham, Southwark and Lambeth in about 15 venues each term.
Every day is different, which is something I love about the job. I work in a team that includes peer recovery trainers (people with lived experience who co-produce and deliver our workshops), clinicians and administrators which is a fantastic environment to be in. I’m involved in co-producing and teaching workshops as well as the operational management and strategic development of the college. I meet lots of interesting people, including our students, and provide support to our team members.
The thing I enjoy most is seeing the way the college has developed in the past two years. This is down to the people involved. The peer and practitioner trainers and the very dedicated team behind the scenes have worked incredibly hard to get the college up and running. Now we are seeing the positive impact the learning is having on the lives of our students which is inspiring and gives hope to others.
Time-management! The college office is a dynamic and fun place to be. The interest in what we offer has been fantastic, and finding time for all the projects and developments can be a challenge. I’m lucky that I work alongside Tony Holmes (operations manager) who is the most organised person I know.
Working in an environment where service users are being given the opportunity to take up meaningful work within the organisation to support others in their recovery journeys. Our peer recovery trainer team are very skilled and dedicated. They give an enormous amount of their time and expertise to support service users in a non-clinical environment. I’m very lucky to lead a team that inspires people to live as well as possible within a service that gives service users, carers and SLaM staff the opportunity to learn together and from one another.
My proudest achievement was seeing the SLaM Recovery College film for the first time recently. Some of the college students, staff and contributors from right across the Trust took part, including Matthew Patrick, SLaM’s Chief Executive. Hearing people speak about the impact the college is having, within the organisation and in the lives of our students in such a short time was incredible.
I started pottery classes earlier this year (a very ‘OT’ thing to do!) which I’m really enjoying but a lot of my free time is starting to be taken up by studying an MSc in Organisational Psychiatry and Psychology at the IoPPN (the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience at King’s). I also try to get home to New Zealand once a year to see family and find some sunshine during the UK winter.
I played table tennis for New Zealand for several years as a teenager as well as softball at provincial level for Otago where I’m from.
A solar powered phone to call someone to get me out of there… or scuba gear if that wasn’t an option.
We hope you enjoyed reading this interview with Kirsty. Find out more about how you can get involved in supporting the services at SLaM.]]>
Thanks to generous donations from people like you, Bethlem Museum of the Mind and Bethlem Gallery have been able to move from their separate locations to now being housed under one roof. This has the advantage of allowing each institution to benefit from the other's expertise, plus a larger and much more appealing space for visitors.
>> Find out more about this project.]]>
RideLondon is a closed road race from the centre of London out to Box Hill in Surrey, and then back to The Mall in the capital. Two fantastic SLaM staff members are taking on the challenge to raise money for their workplace, so we found out more about their motivations.
Dulcie did her nursing training at South London and Maudsley and now works there permanently. After doing one of her placements at Foxley Lane Women’s Service, an 8-bed inpatient unit for women aged 16-65 with mental illness, she has decided to take part in RideLondon to raise funds for the ‘highly valuable’ service.
‘I did a three-month clinical placement at the Foxley Lane during my training and was thoroughly inspired by the work of the nurses there. The small team work incredibly hard, doing everything from cooking the dinner to leading therapy sessions.
'Cycling is both my hobby and my means of transport. I’ve been looking for a long distance event so chose RideLondon, and the fact that I can raise money for SLaM at the same time is brilliant.
'I’ll be going solo for the ride! It’s one of the things I love about cycling. I’m looking forward to getting the hills over and done with, and the opportunity to ride in the city without traffic.
'I held a charity yard sale in July to help with my fundraising and raised £120. I’ve also been sending lots of emails to colleagues past and present, as well as family and friends.’
Richard works within Snowsfields Adolescent Unit at the Maudsley Hospital. Snowsfields was set up by Richard in 1998 and was the first adolescent unit in the UK to make all beds available for urgent admissions, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
‘I got into road cycling three years ago, initially as a healthy way to commute to work. Since joining the London Phoenix Cycling Club in 2013, I’ve have taken my riding to a whole new level and managed to qualify for the UCI World Amateur Road Championship in Denmark later this year.
'RideLondon is 100 miles on closed roads and follows the route used for the 2012 Olympics, so I was unable to resist the challenge of taking part.
'I’ve worked for South London and Maudsley for nearly 25 years now. Although our basic service provision is covered by public funding, having a charitable fund is a vital resource for research and innovation. Without such support the world-renowned creativity of our Trust would suffer. It therefore feels very special to be investing my time and effort in helping the Charity.’
You can sign up to support South London and Maudsley in RideLondon 2016.
On Friday 26 and Saturday 27 June, during a weekend of glorious sunshine, 12 fundraisers abseiled to raise vital funds for SLaM. The total raised from the abseil so far is approximately £2,058 (excluding Gift Aid), with more donations still coming in.
Congratulations everyone on your amazing efforts!
The 100ft drop down the glass exterior overlooks the ambulance bay just outside King’s A&E department, where abseilers descended to the cheers of many friends, family members and colleagues on the ground.
Our supporters who took part included Chantelle Jackson [main image], who wanted to give back to the hospital after receiving life affirming treatment.
Storm Janssen also took part in the sponsored abseil after being a patient, carer, volunteer and staff member at SLaM.
Many dedicated students and staff took part too including business administrator Edith Adeboji [image right]. She decided the abseil would be a fun way to give our support
Thank you so much to everyone involved! You can visit our Facebook page to view our gallery of photos from the day. You can also sign up for next year's abseil by emailing email@example.com.
Storm is abseiling for SLaM to give back as she has been a patient, volunteer, carer and staff member for many years pic.twitter.com/YbnxUNFE0X— Support SLaM (@SupportSLAM) June 27, 2015
Nearly at the bottom.
Well done to @MaudsleyNHS staff member Georgia who made it safely down - she says she won't do it again though! pic.twitter.com/ueFctgleNN— Support SLaM (@SupportSLAM) June 27, 2015
Georgia proudly showing off her certificate.
Thank you so much to everyone involved! You can visit our Facebook page to view our gallery of photos from the day. You can also sign up for next year's abseil by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.]]>
Storm has had a long relationship with SLaM, having been a service user, carer and staff member:
‘Over the years I have much to thank SLaM for and this is a small way I can return the favour. Until I was employed here I was a service user on and off for about 12 years. I was treated for a variety of things over the years, including Personality Disorder, Anxiety Disorder and depression. My experiences were mixed over those years but my latter years as a service user were with The Cawley Centre – it was a great help in getting me where I am today and I have nothing but respect for the job the staff there do, and the patience they exhibit.
'When I was coming to the end of my time there, the unit’s Occupational Therapist recommended me doing some voluntary work which I did for about a year. That subsequently led to a permanent full time job and they’ve now been stuck with me for over 6 years!’
‘I’ve seen the abseil event advertised a few years running and have always fancied doing it but have only just plucked up the courage to actually apply! This is my first abseil, charitable or otherwise and I’m most looking forward to the view from the top. I’ve managed to talk one of my colleagues into it – I’m not sure she’s quite forgiven me yet but I’m sure she’ll love it!
‘I’ve been fundraising via Facebook, email and word of mouth – not including gift aid I’ve so far managed £185 online and £90 via the sponsorship form. I’m hoping the money I raise will go to the Maudsley Occupational Therapy service at the Community Link Centre where I currently work. We work with individuals on the acute wards, as well as those who have been recently discharged to support their transition back home – I started off as a volunteer here so it’s played a major part in my recovery.’
You can support Storm and help her raise money for SLaM, by visiting her fundraising page. Or, take part in the abseil yourself to support your hospital.]]>
You can sign up for this year's abseil too!
'When I was 16 I was admitted to Maudsley Hospital with severe depression, anorexia and self-harming behaviours. If it weren't for the hospital’s intervention, I would not be alive today. After being discharged I received ongoing psychological therapy at Maudsley to help keep me afloat in the scary and overwhelming world outside.
Years later, aged 27, I was referred back to Maudsley as my mental health issues had persisted. It was then in 2012 that Maudsley deduced I had Asperger's Syndrome, and that was that cause of my continuing struggles.
This revelation was transformational for me, as I could finally accept myself as I am, with my differences. I embraced instead of fought against my eccentricities. The Maudsley gave me a chance to live freely and honestly, and I've never looked back.
I chose to do the abseil because Maudsley saved me from suicide, and once you've looked death in the face and survived, you can do anything! It was a way of showing the world that, even though people may have mental illness and Asperger's, they are no less capable than anyone else.
I loved the thrill and adrenaline, but mostly the warm, fuzzy feeling inside that I helped the NHS and other SLaM patients like myself.
I have raised over £200 and would like the money to go to wherever in the service it is needed most. I found art and music projects most helpful while I was an inpatient, so maybe something like that.'
You can sign up for this year's abseil and fundraise for SLaM!
What is the name of your role?
Professional Head of Occupational Therapy and Lead for Social Inclusion and Recovery. It’s quite a long title, but it does pretty much sum up what I do!
Which part of South London and Maudsley do you work in?
My role is Trust-wide, but I am actually based at the Maudsley.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My day varies enormously. I do attend quite a lot of meetings; anything from a meeting looking at developing peer support workers across the Trust, to chairing the Nutrition Steering Group, to the Trust-wide Quality Delivery group. I supervise a lot of the senior OT staff, so keep my finger on the pulse of OT within the Trust. I also line manage our small specialist physiotherapy, dietetics, clinical exercise and welfare services. I also spend time with people who use our services, working out how we can be more recovery-oriented in our approaches.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the fact that every day is different. I could be sitting at my desk one day updating a policy, and the next running a study day for newly qualified occupational therapists. I enjoy the people contact and knowing lots of folk across the Trust. I enjoy developing new initiatives and seeing them come to fruition.
Which part of your job is most challenging?
One of the most challenging things is still trying to provide a quality service when money is tight. Sitting on the Trust Executive, I am in the privileged position of having an oversight of the big challenges. I feel very responsible to continue to support staff on the ground to do a good job. SLaM has come a long way to be so much more recovery-focused in the services it provides, but we still have a way to go. It’s been great to be part of that journey.
What is your favourite thing about South London and Maudsley?
My favourite thing about SLaM is the people. I’ve worked here a long time (as have many of my colleagues) but I am still amazed at how there is still scope for innovation and support for new things. And that is down to the people and their commitment and enthusiasm.
What’s your proudest achievement in your career to date?
I would have to say the development of the Recovery College (a service that provides a range of educational courses and resources for people with experience of mental illness, to improve understanding of mental health). I love being an OT and can think of lots of things we have done and continue to do OT-wise in SLaM, but the single biggest thing I can say I had a hand in creating is the Recovery College. I could talk about it for a long time, but I would just recommend people check out the website and it will demonstrate how proud I am.
What do you like to do outside of work in your free time?
I spend a lot of time ferrying my daughter to her various activities. I love to cook and entertain, and I am also part of an obligatory book club.
Name one thing that the service users might not know about you.
I’m a pretty open book and most of the service users who I work with know me well enough. They may not know, however, that I got to the rank of a Queen’s Guide.
If you could only take one thing to a desert island, what would it be?
I asked my husband about this and he said I should say a piano, as I have been on about learning properly for years and I do tinker a bit. It just doesn’t seem very practical!
If you've been inspired by this profile, you could consider making a donation to support the work carried out by staff at SLaM.]]>
In keeping with this year’s theme of ‘Mindfulness’ we based our showcase around the Wheel of Well-being project, which aims to improve personal well-being and mindfulness by dividing well-being into six areas.
It advocates positive change in six key ways: Planet, People, Spirit, Place, Mind and Body. It's based on research that has provided evidence for how particular actions, activities and practices have the ability to improve mood, reduce the risk of depression, strengthen relationships, maintain overall health, and even increase life-expectancy.
Using this wheel as a foundation for the day, we opened activities with a series of short talks by SLaM staff and representatives from the projects to demonstrate the essence of each segment of the wheel.
The Adamson Collection is a collection of art used for art therapy by British artist Edward Adamson, during his 35 years of working in a long-stay mental hospital. The Adamson Collection has recently been recognised as one of UK's most important collections of asylum art.
As well as aiding recovery, the collection also promotes the creativity of those living with mental health problems to the wider public - and challenges stigma in the process.
The Angelus Foundation aims to educate, encourage and assist individuals in becoming more knowledgeable about the risks legal highs (harmful drugs that escape prohibition due to being research chemicals or used for purposes such as plant feed) pose to their health and well-being. Donations funded their ‘Why Not Find Out?’ campaign, which is a project aimed at creating awareness of new psychoactive substances and ultimately helping young people to stay safe.
With the tagline 'inspired by nature, harnessing her wealth, looking after ourselves, looking after the planet’, Bethlem Fresh and Healthy Food Project is an initiative that encourages service users to grow, pick and cook food produced in their walled kitchen, garden or orchard.
With its distinctive art-deco staircase, the new gallery and learning spaces at Bethlem Royal Hospital secure its unique collections of archival material, historic objects and works of art for future generations. The collection offers a rich resource for study of the history of mental healthcare and treatment.
The SLaM Recovery College offers a range of workshops and courses including aimed at helping people understand and live with anxiety. Every course and workshop on offer is co-developed and co-run by trainers who have experienced mental health difficulties themselves, working alongside trainers who are mental health professionals. It's a chance to learn together as well as share experience and knowledge.
The Tree of Life workshops are run for small groups of staff and in-patients at the Psychiatric Intensive Care Units at SLaM. They use narrative therapy to encourage participants to share and reflect. This involves talking about the positive aspects of their life through the metaphor of a tree to work through issues. The Tree of Life represents different aspects of a person’s life.
We heard from Julie Fraser, Clinical Psychologist, and three service users: Ubong Akpan, Maggie Hayes, and Ursular Joy, who all talked about their personal trees.
SLaM’s volunteer programme encourages people to use their free time in an enjoyable and positive way. It's aimed at opening up new networks and career opportunities for volunteers, and also supporting service users with their own recovery by helping them gain new experience and increased confidence.
We heard from Alex, Georgios and Jackie, who told us what their experiences as volunteers meant to them. Alex is looking for more experience in the mental health field, Georgios is using volunteering to aid his recovery from anxiety, which was brought on by his busy marketing career, and Jackie is using it to help increase her confidence.
Following the presentations, we held an interactive marketplace in the Connect room of the ORTUS, which was led by the Wheel of Well-being group.
Guests were invited to take part in a game where they rolled a dice which sent them off on a journey around the Wheel to visit the different segments of positive change, each represented by a Maudsley Charity supported project.
Each stall included an interactive element. The Angelus Foundation had a boardgame that highlighted the pitfalls of legal highs, Bethlem Fresh and Healthy Food Project showcased their fresh produce,and the Tree of Life encouraged guests to join in with a group therapy session, and to create their own tree of life.
On top of all this, Maintaining Health Partners held meditation and interactive therapy sessions in order to bring calm and mindfulness to the busy marketplace throughout the day.
Paul Mitchell, host of the event and Chief Executive of Maudsley Charity, said, 'It's always heartening to hear firsthand the added value that the charity can make.'
The work of these amazing projects would not be possible without your generosity and support. To find out more about how you can get involved, please contact email@example.com or call 0207 848 4701.]]>
‘Since joining the SLaM board I've been very impressed by the achievements of the Maudsley charity, including for example the building of the Learning Centre and the redevelopment of the Bethlem Gallery & Museum. I am also keen to do what I can to draw attention to the great work that SLaM does in the local community and nationally and the contribution that it makes, together with Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), to research and development in mental health.
I took part in the Bupa 10,000 in 2006 but I haven't taken part in any runs since then. My time back in 2006 was around 47 minutes and 50 seconds, and I'm aiming to beat that time if I can. I'd ideally like to finish in under 45 minutes, but I fear that may be over-optimistic.
I have been training once or twice a week in Richmond Park and along the Thames between Kew and Hammersmith.
I am looking forward to joining in with lots of other people in what I am sure will be a fun event.'
You can support Alan’s efforts by visiting his fundraising page.
Find out more about the events you can take part in to fundraise for SLaM, like Alan.]]>