Epilepsy award

Ella Rhodes reports on a Discovery Award for Sophie Bennett.

Sophie Bennett, a clinical psychologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, has won the Discovery Award at the fourth Young Epilepsy Champions Awards. The prize recognises significant research or breakthroughs that have led to new thinking or practice that could make a difference to children and young people with the condition.

Dr Bennett, who is also undertaking her PhD at UCL Institute of Child Health in the Population, Policy and Practice Programme, aims to improve the mental health and psychological wellbeing of children with epilepsy through her work. She recently published the only review of psychological treatments in children with long-term medical conditions, including epilepsy.

She has developed a new way of screening patients to better understand their psychological needs and how to treat them accordingly. She said: ‘It feels amazing to be recognised with the Discovery Award. The families we work with are so inspirational and it’s really nice that we can do something for them. The work I do is part of a team at the Institute of Child Health, and we know young people with epilepsy often have other difficulties apart from seizures, they may have problems with emotion or behaviour, we hope to find treatments that work so that we can support them.’

Now in its fourth year, the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards, this year held at London’s UnderGlobe, celebrate the achievements of those living with epilepsy, their families, carers, teachers and support networks.

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