Meet our CAMHS Learning Disability Team in Haringey

Date: 18 June 2020

At Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust we are proud to support Learning Disability Week 2020 which runs from 15-21 June and focuses on the importance of friendships during lockdown.

Meet our CAMHS Learning Disability Team in Haringey. 

Dr Joanne Kennedy – Child Psychiatrist

I am a Child Psychiatrist and I joined BEH CAMHS LD last July.  I have always loved working with young people with intellectual disability as it allows for a very holistic, strengths based model and loads of multidisciplinary and multiagency working. So often we focus on what people cannot do and fail to see the barriers in society that disable people rather than celebrate and value that person for who they are and what they can do. I have family members who have intellectual disabilities and growing up they had very different experiences that reflected the services they and their parents were offered and the way people with intellectual disabilities were valued (or not) at the time.  Over the years I got moved into other roles in CAMHS so when I retired last year I wanted to return to an area that I loved.  This job has given me a fresh sense of purpose and I really identify with the saying “a change is as good as a rest”.

Ghada Karkotli - Clinical Nurse Specialist

I first became interested in learning disabilities (LD) after visiting a friend’s family - a couple with 3 young children with cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. I was amazed and sad because in Damascus there was no support for people with learning disabilities. Simultaneously my boss in Damascus had a child with Down syndrome. After his divorce, his Canadian wife took their child to Canada because of lack of medical support.

When I came to England, I decided my path would be learning disabilities nursing so I studied nursing at Anglia Polytechnic University and from graduation 20 years ago to now I have worked tirelessly to ensure the health provision is available to adults and children with ASD/LD and that their quality of life is made better by facilitating inclusion, opportunities, learning/teaching and empowering. I had an interesting journey from nursing inpatients in secure units to managing homes in the community.

This year I joined BEH, which I am really proud of. I love being part of the BEH family. In my team we all make positive contribution to CAMHS – LD/ASD in Haringey. The team is fantastic. 

BEH is a diverse, multi-cultural organisation passionate about staff and patients.  I could not wish for better.

Abby Anjorin - Nurse Practitioner

My name is Abby. I am an RMN and have worked in CAMHS at BEH for over 10 years. I work in the CAMHS LD team in Haringey and I am currently undertaking a PG Diploma in CYP IAPT Therapy, with my main focus being ASD and learning disabilities.

In celebration of Learning Disability Week, I would like to reflect on how I can cater more effectively for our clients from ethnic minority groups.

As a BAME member of staff, I often recognise and identify the challenges that families from this group face. These can be linked to cultural or religious beliefs.

Issues of shame and stigma at times persists which can  be compounded by not having a full understanding of their diagnosis, prognosis or care pathways sometimes due to language barriers or other factors. A better understanding of these would improve outcomes for this client group. Having a support group for instance specifically aimed at the BAME service users would be a good way to support and engage our service users from these communities. This in my opinion would bridge a gap and help us have a clearer understanding of needs and anxieties of our services users from BAME communities. This is something I would like to look into.

I will also be celebrating my colleagues by acknowledging their hard work with our client group and the patience and dedication shown.

Dr Claire Wright - Clinical Psychologist

I am a Clinical Psychologist in Haringey CAMHS-LD team. I have been working with children with disabilities and their families for over 20 years. Prior to my training I worked in educational and care settings. I am passionate about supporting young people with learning disabilities to live happy, fulfilling, meaningful lives where they enjoy good physical and mental health. I feel very grateful to work in this field. It is interesting, creative and humbling and involves working with some of the most brave, tenacious and inspirational people in our society. I am always learning, particularly from service users.

As a psychologist I spend a lot of time sitting alongside parents and carers trying to understand, and think deeply about, the concerns they have for their young people. It is my job to use the knowledge and skills from my training and experience to help bring new ideas about the difficulties they are facing and to support them to find a way through difficult experiences.

It is a real privilege to be allowed into the lives of others in a trusted way. It is my aim that we are always ambitious about the lives of people with disabilities.

Read more about how BEH is supporting Learning Disability Week 2020.


  • Summary:

    To celebrate Learning Disability Week 2020, we would like to introduce you to our Learning Disability Team in Haringey.