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First Episode and Rapid Early Intervention for Eating Disorders

(FREED)

FREED is a new service to help young people with eating disorders as early as possible. The service is for young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who have had an eating disorder for three years or less.

Young people getting help for their eating disorder through FREED are given rapid access to specialised treatment which give special attention to challenges we know young people face during these years of their life, and in the early stages of an eating disorder.

The FREED service was tested at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust Foundation’s Eating Disorders Unit and King’s College London, and the results were promising.

Using the FREED service was a positive experience for patients, carers and staff. When FREED was compared with “business as usual”, FREED reduced the amount of time an eating disorder was left untreated.

FREED patients waited less time for assessment and treatment.

FREED showed us that treating people as early as possible leads to better results for treatment.

We are now launching the second phase of the FREED evaluation. The evaluation is led by King’s College London.With the support of the Health Foundation, the FREED project is growing. The FREED service can now be accessed at other specialist services in the UK.

If you think that you, or someone you care for, has an eating disorder and may benefit from the FREED early intervention service, have a look to see whether there is a FREED service near you. If FREED is available in your area you will need to speak to your GP about getting a referral to the service. If you’re not sure whether FREED is available in your area yet, you can contact us to find out (michaela.flynn@kcl.ac.uk). If FREED is not available, the best thing to do is to speak to your GP to find out what is available in your local area. For advice on speaking to your GP and more, take a look at our seeking support page.

TESTIMONIALS

The FREED project was brilliant for Issy. There was a rapid response at a time when she was falling deeper into her illness. The programme was personalised with Issy at the centre. It focused on exactly what she needed at that time, and gave her strength, tools and strategies she needed for when times are tough. It helped us as family to help her in the best way we could. And gave her the belief and trust in herself to go out, face the world and live her life.

- Sarah, mother of FREED service user, Issy

FREED empowered me to do things I never thought I’d be able to do

- Abi, FREED service user

Early intervention meant that I was able to get the professional help and support I needed, even if at first I didn’t fully admit that it was necessary. By being urged to tackle my eating disorder at this early point, before I was dragged too far down the rabbit hole, I was able to reclaim myself and my identity with encouragement along the way and in a safe environment.

- Erin, FREED service user

THE TEAM

Professor Ulrike Schmidt

Professor of Eating Disorders, King's College London.
Chief Investigator

Professor Ulrike Schmidt

Professor of Eating Disorders, King's College London.
Chief Investigator

Ulrike Schmidt, MD PhD FRCPsych, is Professor of Eating Disorders at King’s College London (KCL) and a Consultant Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. She has produced over 400 publications on eating disorders, including text books, patient manuals, and web-based treatment or training packages. A key focus of her research has been on development of brief scalable psychological treatments for eating disorders and use of novel ‘brain-directed treatments’. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including a 2005 NHS Award for Innovative Service Delivery, the 2009 AED Leadership Award for Clinical, Educational and Administrative Services, and the 2014 Hilde Bruch Award for Outstanding Achievements in Eating Disorders Research and Treatment.

Danielle Glennon

Clinical Specialist Service Lead
FREED-Up Project Lead

Danielle Glennon

Clinical Specialist Service Lead
FREED-Up Project Lead

Danielle is the clinical lead and senior psychotherapist for the outpatient and day care services in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Eating Disorders Service. Danielle is the project lead for FREED. This role involves supporting operational management, providing clinical expertise and leadership, developing care packages, liaising with stakeholders, coordinating research, and maintaining quality standards across the service. Danielle also leads the clinical team at SLaM, provides supervision, and works with a number of her own patients.

Dr Amy Brown

Senior Clinical Psychologist
FREED-Up Project Co-Ordinator

Dr Amy Brown

Senior Clinical Psychologist
FREED-Up Project Co-Ordinator

Amy Brown is a senior clinical psychologist at the South London and Maudsley Eating Disorder Service. She has extensive clinical and research experience within the eating disorders field. Since September 2014 she has been involved in setting up and evaluating the FREED service. Her current role involves supervising the ‘roll-out’ of FREED into other NHS eating disorder services.

Dr Victoria Mountford

Principal Clinical Psychologist SLaM

Dr Victoria Mountford

Principal Clinical Psychologist SLaM

Vicki Mountford is the principal clinical psychologist at the South London and Maudsley Eating Disorder Service. She has authored a number of books and papers on the eating disorders, including the ‘Self-help guide Beating Your Eating Disorder: A Cognitive-Behavioural Self Help Guide for Adult Sufferers and their Carers’. Alongside her clinical work, she provides training in working with people with eating disorders. Her research interests include cognitive behaviour therapy, early intervention and outcome research in the eating disorders.

Dr Antonia Koskina

Clinical Psychologist
FREED Champion SLaM

Dr Antonia Koskina

Clinical Psychologist
FREED Champion SLaM

Dr Koskina is a Clinical Psychologist working in the Maudsley Eating Disorder Service. Antonia completed her DClinPsy at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London and has been working with eating disorders for over 5 years. As FREED Champion, Antonia takes responsibility for the day to day running of the FREED project. Antonia also acts as the point of contact for everyone aged 18-25 who is referred to the service and may be eligible to take part in FREED.

Dr Julia Dornik

Visiting Psychiatrist
FREED Clinician

Dr Julia Dornik

Visiting Psychiatrist
FREED Clinician

Julia Dornik is a visiting psychiatrist from Canada. She is working at the South London and Maudsley Eating Disorder Service and at the Section for Eating Disorders, Kings College London. She completed her training in medicine and psychiatry at McGill University in Canada. She is in London for one year in order to sub-specialise in eating disorders after which she will go back to work at McGill University.

Dr Katie Lang

FREED Post-Doctoral Research Worker

Dr Katie Lang

FREED Post-Doctoral Research Worker

Katie is a post-doctoral researcher working in the Eating Disorder Research Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry. She joined the FREED team in June 2016. Prior to this she completed her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry, which focused on the neuropsychological and emotion processing profile of children and adolescent with Anorexia Nervosa.

Michaela Flynn

FREED Research Worker

Michaela Flynn

FREED Research Worker

Michaela is a research worker at the Eating Disorder Research Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry. She completed her undergraduate studies in psychology at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, and plans to eventually undertake her PhD and clinical training. Michaela is interested in improving access to care for a range of mental health issues, including eating disorders and anxiety disorders.

Dr Frances Connan

Site Lead, Central and North West London Foundation Trust (CNWL)

Dr Frances Connan

Site Lead, Central and North West London Foundation Trust (CNWL)

Dr Connan is the Clinical Director for the Vincent Square Eating Disorder Service. She has more than 10 years of clinical experience and expertise in service redesign and management. She completed her PhD in eating disorders at the Institute for Psychiatry, Kings College London, and has published widely since then.

Nicole Nunes

FREED Champion, CNWL

Nicole Nunes

FREED Champion, CNWL

Nicole is a qualified Registered Mental Health Nurse. She has worked in specialist eating disorders services since 2010. She is warm, compassionate and highly skilled. She makes good relationships with patients to sustain engagement through their journey towards recovery. She is experienced in providing specialist supportive clinical management (SSCM) and she is currently completing her Practitioner Training for Cognitive Analytic Therapy.

Dr Gabrielle Brady

FREED Champion, CNWL

Dr Gabrielle Brady

FREED Champion, CNWL

Dr Brady is a specialist Counselling Psychologist who is registered with the British Psychological Society. She has a number of years of experience providing specialist treatment for eating disorders. She is currently completing her Practitioner Training for Cognitive Analytic Therapy. She is passionate about working with individuals with eating disorders and complex needs, making a difference in their lives and promoting their recovery.

Kuda Kali

Liaison and Assessment Team Manager CNWL

Kuda Kali

Liaison and Assessment Team Manager CNWL

Kuda is a qualified, Registered Mental Health Nurse and Cognitive Analytic Therapy Practitioner. She has been working in the specialist eating disorders service for CNWL since 2004. She is highly committed to providing early effective treatment to address eating disorders and to stop the illness from undermining an individual’s efforts to build a healthy, care-free life.

Dr Monique Schelhase

Site Lead, Leeds and Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT)

Dr Monique Schelhase

Site Lead, Leeds and Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT)

Dr Monique Schelhase is an Associate Specialist in Eating Disorders, working at the Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders (YCED). She has been trained in Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT),  is the Lead Clinician for the YCED Community Treatment Service and has more than 10 years’ experience of working with people with eating difficulties

Mary Franklin-Smith

FREED Champion, LYPFT

Mary Franklin-Smith

FREED Champion, LYPFT

Mary completed her Masters in Drama and Movement Therapy at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London. Since qualifying over 10 years ago she has worked in NHS specialist mental health services including forensics and CAMHS in both community and custodial settings. She is also co-convenor of the British Association of Drama Therapists NHS sub-committee. In Dec 2013 she joined the community team at Yorkshire Community Eating Disorder service as psychological therapist. She is absolutely thrilled to have gained the role of FREED champion and is passionate about the opportunities that this early intervention framework presents. Mary is committed to finding creative ways to help the service model work in the Yorkshire site.

Dr Lucy Serpell

Site Lead, North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT)

Dr Lucy Serpell

Site Lead, North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT)

Dr Serpell has 20 years of expertise working in eating disorder treatment and research. She is currently the Clinical Lead for the Eating Disorders Service, NELFT, and a Senior Lecturer at the University College London.

Kate Mahony

FREED Champion, NELFT

Kate Mahony

FREED Champion, NELFT

Kate is a clinical psychologist working at the Eating Disorders Service, NELFT. Kate completed her Doctorate of Clinical Psychology at the University College London and has since worked with eating disorders across the life-span.