As Drayton Park Women's Crisis House celebrates 25 years, some of the Drayton Park team share more about their role.
Silvia Gago Campbell (pictured right), Drayton Park Clinical Practitioner
"I joined the team at Drayton Park in November 2018, having come from 10 years in health visiting with a background in perinatal mental health, bonding, attachment and early years.
In my previous role, I worked with women from many different backgrounds during late pregnancy, postnatally and up to the child’s 5th birthday. I noticed that a lot of women who suffered post-natal depression, also struggled with mental health due to a lot of supressed traumas that tend to surface following pregnancy and childbirth. A lot of the time, these traumas were not always explored due to the child/children’s needs being paramount, and although this is important, I believe that the mother needs to be ok for the child to be ok and wanted to be part of that support for them.
I feel honoured and proud to be a part of such a fantastic team where I can support and advocate for women who are in a crisis and who have often experienced a multitude of things that have contributed to their mental health. I am very passionate about the trauma informed approach. Being a mother and having experienced my own traumas, I know that it can be a very lonely place where feelings and emotions can quickly become very overwhelming. Women are often reluctant to seek support due to concerns for their child/children’s care and safety, so working somewhere where mothers can bring their children with them, is invaluable. I have seen how the therapeutic environment of Drayton Park makes women feel safe, not judged and able to share their traumas which has helped them to start their journeys of recovery and healing.
I love my job and making a positive difference to the lives of the women that come through our door. I don’t see myself working anywhere else."
Dr Stella Fremi (pictured left), Psychologist
"I joined the Trust in 2004, and the Drayton Park team in 2012 as a clinical mental health practitioner, and am now a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. I hold a PhD in Transgender Studies, where I proposed a novel method of qualitative data analysis that is based on myth and metaphor. I have also worked as an associate lecturer in Higher Education for four years, teaching Developmental and Applied Psychology.
I can only describe my experience at Drayton Park as ‘visceral’. In order to process the magnitude of this, and give a voice to the women who have trusted me enough to talk about their innermost fears and vulnerabilities, I wrote two essays on Drayton Park, which have been published at The Lancet Psychiatry - Ariadne’s Thread and What ever happened to Eurydice. The first addresses the modus operandi of Drayton Park, and the second discusses the misdiagnosis of complex trauma as personality disorder. Producing these publications feels like my way of 'giving something back'".
Simone Pereira Hind, Former Artist in Residence
"I came to Drayton Park in 2005 to work over a period of time as a resident artist. I carried out this work alongside a number of the women staying at Drayton Park - sitting in the dining room, allowing for women to come and go and join in as they felt able.
It was a fun experience, getting to know the women and I think we all enjoyed the easy, repetitive nature of gluing the sequins onto the image of the Madonna and Child (pictured right). I chose this particular image because I had suffered from post-natal depression with the birth of my first child. This was a frightening experience which undermined my confidence for a long time and left me feeling terribly guilty towards my daughter, as though I had failed her in the earliest part of her life.
Now she’s a grown woman, I can see there were no terrible, lasting effects from the anxiety I felt around her when she was first born, but it took me many years to come to terms with. I would say that a number of factors brought me ‘back to life’ after her birth. One was beginning a career in art. I found my immersion in making art and the pleasure in being creative really helped to slowly heal me, as well as examining what I had been through in a therapeutic environment and last but certainly not least, having the support of good friends.
I hope the women staying at Drayton Park enjoy this image on the right and perhaps draw comfort from the motherly, nurturing figure, who is no doubt, doing her very best."
C&I has moved the service we normally offer in emergency departments to our 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service, at St Pancras Hospital. The service will see people in need of urgent care so that they do not have to go to a hospital emergency department unless they have an urgent medical need. Emergency departments are under unprecedented pressure due to COVID-19 – the illness caused by coronavirus. We are urging people in mental health crisis to telephone our 24/7 crisis line on 0800 917 3333 or contact their usual community mental health team. If service users attend the 24-hour Mental Health Crisis Assessment Service in person we will see you but we urge you to contact the crisis line in advance for advice to ensure you are only leaving home when absolutely necessary.