Graduation ceremony 2018

12 March 2018

On Saturday 3 March 2018, Dr Liz McDonald and Lord Adebowale received Honorary Doctorate degrees from the University of Essex at our Graduation Ceremony, jointly held with the University of Essex and the University of East London.

LA and LM

Dr Liz McDonald who is an Honorary Consultant in Perinatal Psychiatry at East London NHS Foundation Trust, Clinical Lead for NHS England’s funded Bursary Project and Clinical Associate at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, congratulated her fellow graduands and thanked colleagues Chris Caldwell and Jo Maitland for nominating her for this award, accepting it with “immense gratitude”.

In her acceptance speech Dr McDonald spoke of spending the summer 1976 persuading her parents to allow her to go to medical school and therein began the “roots of [her] being able to question what happens for women and to be able to say ‘why not?’”.

Dr McDonald said: “Having accepted this award I will go forward with renewed and continued determination to do what I can to ensure that Perinatal Mental Health services are available to all women and their families” and advised her fellow graduands to “follow your hearts, be skeptical but avoid cynicism, be creative, show imagination, challenge, know when to say … whoa, why not?! Dream about what the area you work in … and then help make it happen.”

Dr Liz McDonald

In the packed lecture hall at UCL Institute of Education, Lord Adebowale, Life Peer, Chief Executive of Turning Point, Non-Executive Director on the Boards of NHS England and Co-Chair of the Black and Minority Ethnic Mental Health National Steering Group, expressed his “warm congratulations” to fellow honorary graduate Dr Liz McDonald for her inspiring speech. He continued, “I sincerely hope she does not retire her efforts to improve maternal mental health care, she is a beacon, and she needs to keep shining.”

Accepting the award he said, “It’s an honour to accept this degree from the University of Essex at a time when mental health services are under such pressure, it feels as though the country’s mental health has never been in more need of the people receiving their degrees today. You have all been on a tough journey (the SAS course in your chosen subjects) you are well armed to go into battle for the country’s mental wellbeing.”

Lord A Full Landscape

Lord Adebowale also highlighted the Trust.

“I look forward to a continued association with the Tavistock and Portman.

“Thank you to the University of Essex and the Tavistock and Portman, congratulations to you all“

To all our graduates, this ceremony celebrates your formidable achievements not just academic – but personal in successfully completing one of our demanding courses. You will always be a part of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust’s growing community practitioners. You are now part of the family.”

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