Tag Archives: Luton and Bedford

Episode 17 – BAME and Access to Mental Health Services (part 2)

In the second of this 3 part mini series, we continue the discussion..

Cultural diversity and access to services is an issue that is high on the agenda for CAMHS and there is no better way of understanding the needs of the BAME community than hearing directly from the young people that have accessed the service. Today, we are privileged to have four of our ex service users talk about judgement, understanding and how important it is for clinicians to be curious and open to challenging their own beliefs. We also are very happy to welcome Helen Anderson, a CAMHS Clinician based at the Bedford Clinic. Helen has joined the discussion today to further her understanding of the challenges and difficulties that our young service users experience and to discuss the changes that can be made to make the CAMHS service more inclusive and accessible to all.


Come listen..

Episode 15 – Returning to School after Lockdown..

So, the time has come to start to return to the ‘new normal’. For many students, this is full of many unknowns that could be exciting and something to look forward to, however, for some, it may be an anxiety provoking time, leading to added stress and worry. In today’s episode, we talk to two young people about their experiences of lockdown an we hear about their thoughs of returning to school. We also have on the show today two of the CAMHS psychology assistants, Rachel Mellor and Sevgi Deveci who will be talking about strategies to help manage a successful return to school.

Episode 13 – Lockdown, Mental Health and Social Media

In today’s episode, we’re continuing the conversation about mental health, lockdown and how to manage during this time.. There’s lots of information in the media about what we should and shouldn’t do.. we see statistics.. we’re given direction and advice.. sometimes it sounds clear to us, and sometimes it doesn’t… we see advice change.. sometimes on a daily basis and this can leave us feeling worried, scared or just plain confused.. but on a more positive note, we’re also hearing about new and inventive ways of living life.. people are coming up with ideas that we maybe wouldn’t have thought of before…so it’s true to say that there’s a mix of experiences that people are having about lockdown.

But there’s one aspect of lockdown that we’ve all had to do… We’ve all had to socially isolate and keep to social distancing… which means limited access to friends and family, and our normal ways of socialising are currently off the agenda.. As a result of this, we’ve seen an increased use of social media. Now, there are lots of us that would never have entertained the idea of talking on screen.. but suddenly we’ve all got to grips with video calling, texting and even learning new dances on TacTic (name changed for copyright purposes..!)

and no, the last bit doesn’t apply to me.

But for some of us, our usual ways of managing health, and in particular, mental health may have become difficult to access.. such as taking exercise, going out and meeting people.. and getting access to fresh air. For those of us experiencing this.., daily life can be difficult… and many of us have increased our use of social media to support our wellbeing. In today’s episode, we’re going to explore how to manage mental health within the current climate…and give tips on how to make social media support our wellbeing as opposed to making it worse.

Today we have Nikki Scott, who is the user participation lead for Luton and Bedford CAMHS and is also a co-host on CAMHS Talk. I’d also like to welcome Lawrence Chung who is on the NHS graduate programme and is working an Operational Lead for Bedford CAMHS.Also welcome to our service users, Jay and Gracie

Episode 12 – Lockdown, Mental Health and Education

In this episode, we’re talking about mental health, lockdown and how to manage at this time. Lockdown has affected us all and as such, everyone’s daily life has been significantly affected. Our normal daily routines changed overnight and many of the things we took for granted are things we’re currently doing without. We’ve seen lots in the media about how and when we can expect things to go back to normal, but the messages can feel vague and unclear and lead to lots of debate from those with and without ‘professional opinions’… and no-one can predict what the ‘new normal’ will look like anyway. A decision that has brought substantial change for many is the suspension of education.

At a time where many teenagers were gearing up for exams and getting ready for university.. suddenly.. their education looks uncertain. For younger children who are maybe too young to fully understand what’s happening, this might be a confusing time, being at home with their family and away from their friends.. but for others, it might be a time of creativity and finding things to do with their newfound boredom. But for many, their education hasn’t stopped just because they’re not at school. This temporary ‘new normal’ still has its expectations and demands.. with changes such as work being sent home, video link classes, increased use of on-line learning and being taught by their parents. But for many, in the new ‘classroom environment’ at home, there can be new challenges.

In today’s episode, we’re going to take a look at some of the challenges faced by those in secondary school.. and as such I’m very pleased to welcome today’s guests.. I’d like to welcome: Nikki Scott – service user participation lead for Bedford and Luton CAMHS Lawrence Chung – who is currently on the NHS Graduate Scheme and is working for CAMHS as an Operational Lead whilst studying for his master’s degree. We’re also joined by three of our service users, Wiktoria, Kirri and Lucy who share their views, thoughts and tips.

Come listen..



Episode 11 – Bedford CAMHS service update during lockdown

Now.. as we’re all aware, we’re living in strange times due to the COVID pandemic and this has brought some change to the services that are currently offered by Bedford CAMHS. In this episode, Nikki and I are talking to Ross Truscott, General Manager for Bedford CAMHS about the changes that have been made to make sure that CAMHS can continue to deliver the service to those young people and families that are under their care.

We also have the opportunity to hear about new service developments including the self referral process and the new 24 hour Crisis line that is now available for anyone, those that are already under the care of the service and for those that feel they may need CAMHS support.


Episode 9 – Let’s Talk about CBT..

Today we talk about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, more commonly known as CBT. In this episode we are so grateful to Gemma Douthwaite and Dr Charlotte Bolt who share their insights and demystify the inner workings of this treatment model. As always, we also have our service users, this week we have Lucy and Jay who also share their own knowledge from a service user perspective. We also get to hear a little about Ruby, our therapy dog – but that’s a story for next time! Just to say that in our conversation we discuss some of the options that we have used in our service. It may be the case that some of the options we have discussed may not be available in all areas, or indeed be appropriate in all treatment cases.

For more information on CBT, you can go to the NHS webpage here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt/

Episode 5 (Part 2) Let’s discuss Men’s Mental Health

In part 2 of this episode, we continue the discussion around men’s mental health and talk about the difficulties that an autism spectrum condition can add to seeking support from others. We are so privileged to be able to hear first-hand from the panel about how difficult it is to seek out support, be able to trust others and how others can misinterpret this for lack of motivation.

Episode 5 (Part 1) – Let’s discuss Men’s Mental Health

The issue of men’s mental health has been the focus of a lot of debate and a common theme is how difficult it is for men to open up and talk about how they feel. In this three-part episode, we have brought together a group of men, both service users and professionals who share and debate the issues that affect men today. This is a good opportunity to listen in on a heartfelt discussion about stigma, society expectations and the ways in which men are ‘supposed to be’. In this discussion, we talk about our own experiences of mental health issues, how we manage them and what needs to be different.

Episode 3 – Let’s discuss Art Therapy

CAMHS offers lots of different kinds of therapy. In this episode, you have a great opportunity to learn about Art Therapy from Kat Fusco – one of our CAMHS Art Therapists and two of our service users. During the discussion, you will hear first-hand accounts from our service users of how art therapy helped them to recover and how valuable it is as a way of communicating when words are difficult to find. Kat also discusses how art therapy is used, what happens throughout the process of treatment and why it’s so powerful.

So take this privileged opportunity to listen in on their discussion..


Episode 1 – Meet the Service User Participation Group

Welcome to the FIRST episode of the CAMHS Talk podcast – and we are so very excited to be able to bring you the very best interviews and discussions between the service professionals and our very knowledgeable service users. We have trawled the internet and (so far) haven’t found another Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) that have brought together their service users and their professionals in this way. This is such a good opportunity for us all to discuss and debate issues around child and adolescent mental health and it’s such a pleasure for us to share this with you.

In this episode, Niki Scott and Aisling Callaghan talk to four service users about the role of the user participation group, the benefits of being part of the group and how they help shape the service. During the discussion, the service users also discuss and reflect on how they have found benefit for themselves in being able to shape the service.

So sit back and listen.. it’s an interesting discussion..