What is FREED?

FREED is designed to give young people rapid access to specialised evidence-based treatment and support tailored to their needs.

Eating disorders aren’t just about food

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FREED is First Episode Rapid Early Intervention for Eating Disorders. It is a service for 16 to 25-year-olds 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 gives special attention to challenges we know young people face during these years of their life, and in the early stages of an eating disorder.

FREED is a flexible evidence-based treatment approach focused on early intervention; making it much more effective than traditional treatments at reversing the changes to brain, body and behaviour caused by eating disorders.

The FREED service was developed and tested by the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust Foundation’s Eating Disorders Unit and King’s College London. 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 and had better treatment outcomes. Most made a full recovery from their eating disorder within one year. Using the FREED service was a positive experience for patients, carers and staff.

FREED confirmed that treating people as early as possible leads to better results for eating disorder treatment.

In 2016, FREED was introduced to three new eating disorder services in the UK. In 2018, FREED is being introduced to eight new services. By 2020, we hope that at least 20 services will be using FREED. Work is also being done to establish FREED in Australia.

People sometimes ask why FREED is only for those aged 16 to 25 with an eating disorder of up to three years. If someone has only been unwell for a short time treatment seems to work better. This is most true during adolescence and young adulthood. People with eating disorders also experience changes to their brain, body and behaviour. In the first three years of illness these changes are more easily reversed.

Eventually, we hope that everyone with an eating disorder will be able to access tailored, specialist treatment quickly. FREED is one step towards this goal.

“If it wasn’t for FREED’s rapid intervention, I would not have been well enough to pursue my dream of going to university. It makes me emotional to think how much my life has changed in one year of treatment. The steps have been small, but each step has brought me closer to, as well as made me feel I am worth, recovery.”

FREED service user

The FREED team

Ulrike Schmidt

Professor of Eating Disorders (King's College London), Consultant Psychiatrist & FREED Executive Director (Maudsley)

Danielle Glennon

FREED National Head & Consultant Psychotherapist (Maudsley)

Karina Allen

FREED Consultant Clinical Psychologist (Maudsley) & Visiting Senior Lecturer (King's College London)

Giulia Di Clemente

FREED National Co-lead & Senior Counselling Psychologist (Maudsley)

Jessica Griffiths

FREED National Co-lead, EDSA Deputy Curriculum Lead & Eating Disorders Therapist (Maudsley)

Lucy Hyam

FREED PhD Student (King's College London)

Jessica Wilkins

FREED PhD Student (King's College London) & Counselling Psychologist

Muhammad Ahmed

FREED National Assistant Psychologist (Maudsley)

Julie Evans

Psychological Therapies Team Lead (St Ann's)

Hannah Hucklesby

Senior CBT Therapist & FREED Champion (St. Ann's)

Emma Petrova

Trainee Counselling Psychologist & FREED Champion (St Ann's)

Emer Quinn

Occupational Therapist & FREED Champion (CNWL)

Michelle Fiteni

Clinical Nurse Specialist & FREED Champion (CNWL)

Laura Young

Counselling Psychologist & FREED Champion (ELFT)

Jamila Harkin

Counselling Psychologist & FREED Champion (ELFT)

Lucy Owen

Counsellor & FREED Champion (SET CAMHS EDS, Essex)

Catherine White

Senior Specialist Nurse & FREED Champion (Kent & Medway)

Emma Gluyas

CBT Therapist & FREED Champion (SLaM)

Kirsty Manning

Counselling Psychologist & FREED Champion (South-West London & St George's)

Louise Gregor

Clinical Psychologist & FREED Champion (West London)

Tracy Teng

Principal Clinical Psychologist / Clinical Lead (West London)

Queen Nyandoro

Advanced Practitioner & FREED Champion (Cambridge)

Amy Brailey

Senior Eating Disorders Nurse & FREED Champion (Great Yarmouth & Waveney)

Beth Wilks

FREED Champion & Occupational Therapist (North East & West Essex)

Sarah Habberley

Senior Eating Disorders Practitioner & FREED Coordinator (South Essex)

Robyn Macdivitt

Trainee CB Therapist/FREED Coordinator (Birmingham & Solihull)

Rebecca Gordon

Clinical Psychologist & FREED Champion (Birmingham)

Nicola Timmis

FREED Champion (Black Country)

Katherine Webley

Team Manager/Nurse Therapist & FREED Champion (Derbyshire)

Laura Mumford

Eating Disorders Therapist & FREED Champion (Leicestershire)

Ellie-May Watkins

Trainee Clinical Associate Psychologist & FREED Champion (Leicestershire)

Charlotte Long

Senior Eating Disorders Practitioner & FREED Co-ordinator (Lincolnshire)

Danielle Asquith

Nurse Specialist & FREED Co-ordinator (Lincolnshire CAMHS)

Lisa Sutherland

FREED Champion (North East Lincolnshire)

Sarah Bosworth

Senior Counselling Psychologist & FREED Champion (Northamptonshire)

Lindsey Thompson

FREED Champion (Northamptonshire)

Meghan O'Connor

Specialist Mental Health Practitioner & FREED Pathway Lead (Nottinghamshire)

Delysia McKnight

Advanced Practitioner & FREED Champion (North Staffordshire)

Jordan Ashfield

Nurse Therapist & FREED Champion (Midlands)

Victoria Frater

Specialist Eating Disorder Nurse & FREED Champion (Northumberland)

Victoria Turkington

Senior Eating Disorders Practitioner & FREED Champion (North Cumbria)

Camilla Parker

Specialist Eating Disorder Nurse & FREED Champion (Leeds & York)

Katie Whitworth

Clinical Specialist Practitioner & FREED Champion (Leeds & York)

David Tate

Senior Eating Disorders Practitioner & FREED Champion (Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys)

Kim Flockton

Clinical Lead (Hull)

Charlotte Terry

Eating Disorder Family Practitioner & FREED Champion (Hull)

Amy Flatley

Senior Eating Disorder Practitioner & FREED Coordinator (Cheshire & Wirral)

Kirstie O'Sullivan

Nurse Practitioner & FREED Practitioner (Chester)

Amy Walton

FREED Practitioner (Macclesfield)

Clare Goodlad

Eating Disorders Practitioner & FREED Practitioner (Warrington & Halton)

Ella Holloway

FREED Practitioner (Trafford)

Lucy Vowles

FREED Eating Disorder Practitioner (Bolton)

Zoe Tsivos

Clinical Psychologist/FREED Champion (Greater Manchester/Salford)

Siobhan Connor

Psychological Therapist & FREED Champion (Manchester)

Radost Ruseva

CBT Therapist & FREED Lead (Stockport)

Charlotte Dacey

FREED Champion & Clinical Psychologist (Liverpool & Sefton)

Mike Lewis

FREED Champion & Specialist Nurse (Liverpool)

Vicky Tinker

Clinical Psychologist & FREED Champion (Liverpool & Sefton)

Stephanie Wild

Senior Nurse Practitioner (Knowsley & St Helens)

Heidi Jackson

Mental Health Social Worker/Psychological Therapist & FREED Champion (Berkshire)

Rebecca Duff

Occupational Therapist & FREED Champion (Buckinghamshire)

Natalia Campos

Clinical Lead Nurse & FREED Champion (Oxford)

Liliosa Kupakuwana

Clinical Nurse Specialist & FREED Champion (Oxfordshire)

Sarah Macnab

Consultant Nurse Practitioner & FREED Champion (Wiltshire)

Liz May

Principal Clinical Psychologist & FREED Champion (Southern Health)

Louise Melhuish

Clinical Psychologist & FREED Champion (Hampshire)

Amy Conroy

CBT Therapist & FREED Champion (Surrey)

Claire Killengray

Mental Health Practitioner & FREED Champion (Surrey & Borders)

Emily Palmer

Clinical Psychologist & FREED Champion (Sussex)

Claire Main

Occupational Therapist & FREED Champion (Avon And Wiltshire)

Susan McNally

Clinical Psychologist & FREED Clinical Lead (Devon)

Vicky Smith

Senior Eating Disorder Practitioner & FREED Champion (Gloucestershire)

Danielle Johns

Clinical Lead & FREED Champion (Plymouth)

Louise Willis-Richards

FREED Champion & Occupational Therapist (Cornwall)

Kimberley Payas Orford

Psychological Therapist & FREED Champion (Somerset)

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