1461129678 South London and Maudsley News http://www.supportslam.org.uk South London and Maudsley News en info@togetherwecan.org.uk Copyright 2016 2016-04-19T09:13:00+00:00 Running the London Marathon for SLaM http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/running-the-london-marathon-for-slam http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/running-the-london-marathon-for-slam#When:09:13:00Z Alison is running the London Marathon for South London and Maudsley because her sister, Gemma, has been under their care.

Gemma has schizophrenia, which means daily life can be a challenge if she is having an episode, and when she first developed the condition it severely affected her confidence.

She began to show signs of having schizophrenia in her late teens and early twenties, but it was some time before mental health professionals came up with the diagnosis. Gemma went through a very difficult period of her life just before being referred to Bethlem at SLaM.

Alison says, ‘It was a very distressing time for the whole family as well as my sister, and she was in such a bad way that I personally couldn't have imagined her making any sort of recovery when she was first admitted.’

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Dealing with mental health issues

It is so hard to watch a loved one deal with mental health issues and feel completely helpless. Running the London Marathon is a way that Alison can give back to SLaM to say thank you for helping Gemma to steer herself through a very rough time.

‘Over the course of her year’s stay at Bethlem, Gemma became gradually better and was eventually able to do simple things like tidy her room and go for short walks again, which she hadn’t been able to do for some time.

‘She was then able to participate in some of the excellent occupational therapy activities that SLaM offers, such as cookery, pottery, art and cycling. These weekly activities were completely invaluable to her recovery, because they helped to build her confidence.’

Stopping smoking and moving on

SLaM also helped Gemma to stop smoking and she enjoyed walking the dog that visited the hospital once a week.

Gemma says, ‘I spent about 12 months at the Royal Bethlem Hospital, where the care and support I received was exceptional. The various occupational therapy classes were a huge benefit and the staff were superb. I really enjoyed cookery in particular.’

Alison says, ‘Gemma has now left Bethlem and is living independently. For a few days every week, she actively volunteers in a local Fairtrade café and in an office. She has also taken up doing 10K runs and half marathons for her wellbeing.’

Gemma hopes to be able to take on some part-time paid work in the near future, which is a possibility that would have been much more remote without the help of SLaM.

In training for the London Marathon

Alison has been training hard for the London Marathon and received donations from their friends and family, who have been keen to support the cause.

‘I have been running with my local group in Croydon for nearly two years now, moving from 5K to 10K runs, to half marathons, and now I’m taking on my first full marathon. When I won a ballot ticket I was really pleased, and my running friends who couldn’t get tickets are running the Brighton Marathon the week before instead.

‘I wanted to fundraise for SLaM as a way of giving something back to the organisation that offered my sister so much help. The London Marathon lands on my birthday this year, so it will be nice to complete it in my 38th year!’

Many services at SLaM have been funded by essential fundraising like Laura’s. Sign up to cheer on Alison at the London Marathon with us! 

Names have been changed to protect their identities. 

Spotlight on… Kieron Beard http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/spotlight-on-kieron-beard http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/spotlight-on-kieron-beard#When:09:21:00Z Senior Clinical Psychologist Kieron Beard tells us about his role at SLaM - and a bit about his life outside of work!

Which part of SLaM do you work in?

I am a Senior Clinical Psychologist in SLaM’s Mental Health in Learning Disabilities Service, which is part of the Behavioural and Developmental Psychiatry CAG. We are a secondary care community mental health team for people with learning disabilities and additional mental health and/or behaviour that can challenge, who require a specialist learning disability service. I’m currently based in the Lambeth borough but we regularly work across the different boroughs depending on the needs of the service.


What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical day as the role is so varied but this is something that I really enjoy about my job.  A typical week involves attending clinical/multi-disciplinary team meetings; using a variety of psycho-therapeutic models to work collaboratively with service users on their own self-defined goals for recovery; supporting the systems and networks around a service user to improve their quality of life; group-work and mental health prevention and promotion work at a community level. 

A typical week also usually involves delivering some form of education or training, be that through The Estia Centre (a training, research and development resource to support the development of a competent workforce for people with learning disabilities and additional mental health needs), The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience or SLaM’s Recovery College.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The variety of the job ensures that I never get bored but what I most enjoy has to be the social justice and human rights element to my role. People with learning disabilities continue to be the most likely group in society to have their human rights breached. Supporting the people I work with to claim their own voice and constructively challenge these issues is hugely satisfying. 


Which part of your job is most challenging?

Working with the systems around a person is probably the most challenging aspect of the job, particularly in the current climate of austerity and cuts to social services.  However, this does allow for the development of creative approaches to overcome this.  Another challenging aspect is trying to find a balance between meeting the needs of the service and providing a high-quality, individualised service to each service user.


What is your favourite thing about SLaM?

I would say my favourite thing about SLaM is the close links between clinical work, academia and research. In comparison to other places I have worked, I feel supported to further develop my skills and there are many opportunities for continuing professional development (CPD). Things unique to SLaM such as the Board of Governors’ Smile for Health Scheme and Maudsley Charity also provide opportunities for creative and innovative service development.


What’s your proudest achievement in your career to date?

My proudest achievement is most likely qualifying as a clinical psychologist. Since then it is probably working with service users to co-produce The Discovery Group – this is an adapted mental health recovery group for people with learning disabilities. The last group culminated in the group members choosing to write to the Prime Minister to highlight the difficulties of using public transport in London if you’re dependent on a wheelchair to access the community.


What do you like to do outside of work in your free time?

I’m relatively new to London so I’m still enjoying exploring the delights of the city, particularly when it involves stumbling across a local gin distillery!


If you could only take one thing to a desert island, what would it be?

I’d ask Mary Poppins if I could borrow her bag to take as I’m sure I’d find anything I needed in there!


We hope you enjoyed reading this interview with Kieron. Find out more about how you can get involved in supporting the services at SLaM

SLaM Recovery College update http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/slam-recovery-college-update http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/slam-recovery-college-update#When:15:59:00Z The SLaM Recovery College was funded by your generous donations and helps service users on their journey of recovery. It runs mental health and well-being courses that are designed and led by both service users and mental health professionals. 

They've released a new video with updates on their progress since first opening in 2014.

>> Find out more

Spotlight on… Kirsty Giles http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/spotlight-on...-kirsty-giles http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/spotlight-on...-kirsty-giles#When:12:35:00Z Kirsty Giles works at South London and Maudsley in the Occupational Therapy department and she also manages SLaM Recovery College. She tells us more about what it's like working at SLaM and gives us a bit of insight about her life outside of work! 

What is the name of your role?

SLaM Recovery College Manager.  I’m an occupational therapist by profession.

Which part of South London and Maudsley do you work in?

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.

What does a typical day look like for you?

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.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

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.

Which part of your job is most challenging?

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. 

What is your favourite thing about South London and Maudsley?

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.

What’s your proudest achievement in your career to date?

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.

What do you like to do outside of work in your free time?

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.

Name one thing that service users might not know about you.

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.

If you could only take one thing to a desert island, what would it be?

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. 

Donations support Bethlem Museum and Gallery’s move to new location http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/donations-support-bethlem-museum-and-gallerys-move-to-new-location http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/donations-support-bethlem-museum-and-gallerys-move-to-new-location#When:09:52:00Z 'The visit made me challenge my views on what and who people with psychiatric disorders are,' Visitor, Bethlem Museum of the Mind. 

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.

SLaM staff take on RideLondon http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/slam-staff-take-on-ridelondon http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/slam-staff-take-on-ridelondon#When:09:51:00Z Does the idea of cycling 100 miles on the same Olympic route the professionals use fill you with excitement? Perhaps not, but witnessing the spectacle of thousands of cyclists riding through the capital and the Surrey hills in a festival atmosphere might.

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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 Wood, Staff Nurse

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 Corrigall, Consultant Psychiatrist

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. 

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Thank you to our brave abseilers! http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/abseiling-for-slam1 http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/abseiling-for-slam1#When:13:39:00Z This year’s abseil took place down King’s College Hospital's Golden Jubilee Wing and was another huge success!

Supporting SLaM Edith abseiled for SLaM

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 supportslam@togetherwecan.org.uk


Twitter highlights

Nearly at the bottom. 

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 supportslam@togetherwecan.org.uk

Staff member, fundraiser, carer and service user abseils for SLaM http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/staff-member-fundraiser-carer-and-service-user-abseils-for-slam http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/staff-member-fundraiser-carer-and-service-user-abseils-for-slam#When:12:13:00Z Storm Janssen, 31, will be taking the plunge this weekend and abseiling 100 feet down the front of King’s College Hospital’s Golden Jubilee Wing, to raise funds for SLaM.

>> Take part in the abseil for SLaM!

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.

Abseiling for SLaM http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/abseiling-for-slam http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/abseiling-for-slam#When:14:42:00Z Chantelle Jackson has been treated at Maudsley Hospital for various mental health issues for all of her adult life. Now aged 30, she has fundraised for SLaM by abseiling down the Golden Jubilee Wing of King’s College Hospital to show her thanks, as well as show that people will mental illness are just as able as anyone to do whatever they put their mind to.

You can sign up for this year's abseil too! 

Register now

Chantelle's Story

'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. 

An eye-opening diagnosis

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.

Helping others

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! 

Register now

Spotlight on… Gabrielle Richards http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/spotlight-on...-gabrielle-richards http://www.supportslam.org.uk/news/spotlight-on...-gabrielle-richards#When:13:48:00Z Gabrielle Richards has worked at SLaM for 20 years and currently heads up the Occupational Therapy (OT) team. Occupational therapists work with people to develop their skills and confidence in everyday life. SLaM offers a wide choice of creative activities that give people the opportunity to rekindle existing talents, learn from new experiences and build their confidence on their path to recovery.

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.