The Rockinghorse Clinical Psychologist
In 2018, Rockinghorse appointed a paediatric clinical psychologist for the Oncology service at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton.
Dr Alice Emond joined the team in July 2018 as the Rockinghorse Clinical Psychologist. She is providing a vital specialist psychological support service for children and young people during, and after their treatment for cancer.
Alice is specially trained to support children of all ages with a cancer diagnosis, supporting their mental health and wellbeing. Alice supports children and their family members to cope with the diagnosis, intensive treatment procedures, emotional and behavioural challenges, and works with families and the medical team to promote resilience and adjustment.
Alice explains why this service is so important…
“As the Rockinghorse Clinical Psychologist in the paediatric oncology team, I carry out psychological assessment and provide targeted therapeutic support for patients and their families.
This support is offered from diagnosis and throughout their treatment and post-treatment, helping children and their families readjust and reintegrate back into their lives outside of hospital.
I work closely with colleagues from the play specialist and education teams, social workers and other charities to support families’ holistic needs. It is well recognised that physical health difficulties can cause considerable impact on psychological wellbeing.
A diagnosis of cancer can have a significant impact on the whole family. Helping them to understand and work through the challenges together, is so important in promoting resilience during their journey.”
The Rockinghorse Psychology Service has already been of great benefit to young patients undergoing treatment for cancer, and their families;
“It’s been a long and challenging treatment for my son, which meant that we were both in need of emotional support. Ensuring my child is equipped with the right tools to help navigate the roller coaster of emotions he’s experiencing, is crucial. Having Alice as the Rockinghorse Clinical Psychologist has meant that we have dedicated support from someone who has the tools to help us.” – Parent of a young Oncology patient.
“I was able to talk to someone if I was anxious. They helped me understand why I was feeling worried. Talking about it helped me realise that what I was feeling, was totally normal. They helped me work through many issues and made me feel more confident.” – Young Oncology patient.
Referrals to the Rockinghorse Psychology Service are continuing to increase, highlighting the need for its vital support. By integrating clinical psychologists into paediatric care, we can ensure that the emotional wellbeing of children and families are both assessed and addressed.