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iCope celebrates its 10th birthday

More than 200 iCope staff gather to celebrate

Around 200 staff, service users, commissioners and health partners turned up to celebrate at the Conway Hall, with C&I’s staff and service users’ choir kicking off the party with a rousing performance.

VIP speakers included Professor David Clark, National Advisor to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, who praised iCope for leading the way worldwide in how talking therapies are delivered. He said: “iCope is copied widely internationally – you are truly an exemplar.”

He added: “You were pivotal in developing the Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner role right from the start. You’ve done really innovative outreach programmes for people from the black and minority ethnic groups, for older people and for students.

“You have also been pioneering ideas this year about how to enhance staff wellbeing – services don’t thrive unless the staff thrive.

“A lot of people with anxiety or longterm depression also have physical health challenges and you have been really innovative in collaborating with health professionals to develop services for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and pain management. It is to your credit that you also introduced Peer Wellbeing Workers who are achieving a huge amount. “

Trust Chief Executive Angela McNab told colleagues: “You are trailblazers and you should be amazingly proud of what you have achieved over the last ten years.”

And Islington GP, Dr David Davies, added: “Your primary skill is you listen and we, as GPs, really value that.”

A highlight of the evening was a panel discussion led by Clinical Psychologist, Dr Chinea Eziefula, with three service users describing how iCope had transformed their lives, helping them to overcome trauma and stigma. Head of Trust IAPT services, Judy Leibowitz, shared reminiscences with Trust Lead Psychologist, Dr Jeff Halperin, of how the service first started – both the challenges and the triumphs.

She was then given a well-deserved standing ovation by colleagues as she accepted a bouquet of flowers and bottle of champagne.

The evening which was organised by Clinical Psychologist, Dr Lisa Cohen, concluded with birthday cake being cut and a toast being raised to the next ten years of iCope!

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