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Monday 24th Jan between 1 - 2 pm - Live webchat with Dr Sally Hodges, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Tavistock Centre

(91 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 20-Jan-11 14:26:41

Dr Sally Hodges will be joining us for a webchat on Monday 24th January between 1 and 2 pm. Sally is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust specialising in child disabilities. The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust is a leading mental health trust which delivers high quality mental health care, education, research and consultancy work. The Trust delivers out-patient mental health care to children, adolescents, adults and families, with a particular focus on specialist talking therapies and a developmental approach to the promotion of mental wellbeing and the prevention and treatment of mental ill health.

Sally lead on a brand new project to develop an interactive emotional wellbeing website for children aged 7-10 years in Camden, north London. Cam's Den's aims are to help overcome mental health stigma, address an existing gap in mental health education for young children and explain what actually happens in a therapy session.

Sally is happy to answer your questions on topics covering child and adolescent mental health and why a resource for children like is so important. Join us next Monday (24th) between 1 and 2 or send a question to Sally in advance to this thread.

moosemama Mon 24-Jan-11 14:02:04

Hi Sally, hope I'm not too late - unexpected guests!

Thank you so much for answering my question.

We are near Warwickshire, so it would be a long way to travel, but we are willing to do anything to help and support our son and would be happy to do whatever's necessary to get him there if you thought you could help.

What would we need to do for him to be seen at your centre?

DrSallyHodges Mon 24-Jan-11 14:02:08


Awww - Hi Sally! I used to work with you at the Tavistock Clinic many years ago now - I was the Child and Family Services Manager! smile

Anyway, ds1 is now 9 years old (where did that go..?!) and we've discovered over time he finds it very difficult to settle into school at the beginning of the academic year. He doesn't show it at school - the teachers love him because he loves order and processes (and gets lots of stars reminding them when it's time to do things grin) and academically he's great, but at home we see how difficult it is for him.

This year he started not being able to eat in September - almost forgot how to chew and swallow food and although he's much better now (it tends to ease up by December/January), he had several choking episodes at home, and is still taking around an hour to eat any meal.

Do you have any advice on how we can best prepare him for each September starting in a new class, with a new teacher? Is it worth approaching the school in the July before to talk to his new teacher?

At the moment school are unaware he struggles, because it doesn't impact on them and we've debated about how much of a 'big deal' to make of it...

Sigh. I won't be able to make the web chat live so thanks in advance for any tips on how to help him - we're starting to look ahead to him starting secondary school in a couple of years, so want to get prepared really before this huge change happens for him.

Thank you and hope life's good at the Tavi!

wow time does fly doesnt it! I think its possible to prepare without it being a 'big deal' talking to the school in advance of the comming term is a sensible idea. take the emphasis off the food during mealtimes, rewards around success will help.

DrSallyHodges Mon 24-Jan-11 14:03:44


Hi Sally, hope I'm not too late - unexpected guests!

Thank you so much for answering my question.

We are near Warwickshire, so it would be a long way to travel, but we are willing to do anything to help and support our son and would be happy to do whatever's necessary to get him there if you thought you could help.

What would we need to do for him to be seen at your centre?

Its a long way, but happy to help you think about what might fit for you. you can call our intake administator on the main switchboard for the tavistock.

moosemama Mon 24-Jan-11 14:05:54

Thank you. smile

I'll discuss it with my husband when he gets home from work and hopefully make the call then.

DrSallyHodges Mon 24-Jan-11 14:08:42


Another one - more important, maybe.

Do you think that mental health services are going to be able to survive the government's changes to the NHS?

This is a good question and one that child mental health professionals are concerned about, one of the main worries is that services to vulnerable children can be marginalised, particularly as children dont have a voice as adults in the same way. I guess its our responsibility as parents and professionals to raise the need for good quality mental health services for children where ever possible. This is especially important for specialist CAMHS for example for children with disabilities or children in care, who have particular needs that cannot always be met in mainstream services.

domesticslattern Mon 24-Jan-11 14:08:58

Sorry I'm late!
Can you recommend any books or resources suitable for parents who have just found out that their child is disabled? Karnac books said there wasn't anything. Seems like a big gap to me.

crazypanda Mon 24-Jan-11 14:09:39

dianosing proffessional going into school later this week.

DrSallyHodges Mon 24-Jan-11 14:13:55

Dear all,

I have to go now and I havent been able to get to everyone, which is a shame as you have raised really thoughtful and insighful questions. I wanted to wish you all the best with your indvidual issues, and thank you to mumsnet for having me here.


wasuup3000 Mon 24-Jan-11 14:15:08

Thanks for your response Sally and for coming on here.

devientenigma Mon 24-Jan-11 14:15:23

That is a shame. I would love to come across someone who can help my son. Thanks anyway.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 24-Jan-11 14:15:30

Thanks very much to Sally.

We're going to talk to her about getting other members of her team back to cover specific topics around children's mental health.

Thanks to everybody who took part.

ouryve Mon 24-Jan-11 14:18:03

Thank you, Sally.

And Geraldine, that would be great.

moosemama Mon 24-Jan-11 14:19:04

Thank you Sally. smile

crazypanda Mon 24-Jan-11 14:49:11

thanks for your advice,would love to talk again.

cliffsgirl Tue 25-Jan-11 11:37:45

My daughter is 15 and has suffered with anxiety and fear and now depression, regarding the school day, from infant school. She has missed a lot of school, and been prescribed numerous medication, which have caused severe side-effects. It has now reached the point that she is not able to attend school at all, due to severe anxiety. We are awaiting our appt with CAMHS, and meanwhile I am teaching her at home the core subjects. Pressure to do well at school and being given 12 GCSE's to study has pushed her over the edge, this past year. Health Needs Education is apparently over-stretched, and cannot accept any more children.....!? What are they doing to our children? It is supposed to be the happiest time of their lives... life is tough enough, soon enough, PLEASE take the pressure off our children, somebody.... if anybody has a similar story, and found answers.......

Hammerlikedaisies Tue 25-Jan-11 22:29:23

Sorry to hear of your daughter's problems, Cliffsgirl. sad Hope things get better after your appointment with CAMHS. Wish her good luck for her

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