Supporting young people with disabilities during lockdown

2nd June 2020

Vital mental health support for children and young people with a disability across Dorset has been happening virtually during lockdown.

One patient, 16-year-old Sophie from Bournemouth, has been receiving weekly online calls from Dorset HealthCare’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to make sure her mental health support continues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sophie has a learning disability and autism, and the CAMHS Intellectual Disability (ID) team has been supporting her for several years with anxiety and obsessive compulsive behaviours. She is also supported with her relaxation and movement by an Occupational Therapist.

Each week small tasks have been agreed and set for her to achieve, keeping her busy and helping her wellbeing. One week involved Sophie cooking with her mum. She was very proud of herself for baking scones, as it was the first time she’d ever cooked anything.

Gary Sutton-Boulton, Team Leader for ID-CAMHS, supports Sophie and said:

“The lockdown has been especially difficult for children and young people with learning disabilities. I am very proud of my team for the work they are doing to keep in contact with families virtually, ensuring support continues.

“The cookery lesson was a great chance for Sophie to bake with her mum, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. Another task included Sophie going into the garden to benefit from the fresh air and sounds of nature, as she’d become reluctant go outside.

“Sophie loves life and the progress she has made over the years is amazing. As a team, we embraced technology so we could continue supporting her.”

For further information on ID-CAMHS visit

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