Psychologists recognised

Queen's honours and Academy of Medical Sciences Fellows.

Chartered members Dr Penelope Leach, Elizabeth King and Suzanne Tarrant have been recognised with a CBE, MBE, and British Empire Medal respectively for their services to education, to children and families and to health and wellbeing during Covid-19.

Dr Penelope Leach CBE, recognised for her services to education, said: ‘I greeted this news with a mixture of disbelief and delight. I am especially pleased to have this honour acknowledged by the British Psychological Society – I’ve been a member for 60 years – as it has been awarded for my research work in early infant development and I hope it may emphasise this area of psychology and the need for a greater focus on our youngest children. In the meantime, thanks to the many colleagues who share this passion.’

Elizabeth King MBE, Principal Educational Psychologist in South Lanarkshire Council, recognised for her services to education, said: ‘I feel the award is not so much about me as an individual, but a reflection on the impact of applied psychology in the delivery of effective services to children and families. ‘I was given every encouragement and support from the leaders in Education Resources and Children’s Services, to share psychological knowledge and theories to the widest possible audience. It is to the children and families with whom I had the privilege of working, and to my colleagues within South Lanarkshire Council, that I dedicate this award.’

Suzanne Tarrant, Head of the Staff Psychological Wellbeing Service at Hywel Dda University Health Board has been awarded a British Empire Medal for her services to health and wellbeing during Covid-19. Reflecting on her award, she said: ‘The mental health and wellbeing of our staff has always been important, but the challenges over the last two years have brought this into focus in a really poignant and urgent way. We have worked to listen, adapt and respond with compassion and as best we can, always mindful that behind each employees’ brave face at work lies a home story that can be filled with its own hidden tragedies. I have deep respect and admiration for the courage all our NHS staff have shown throughout the pandemic, it has been an honour to be able to contribute and to keep working with my team to make a difference where we can. I am truly grateful for this award and the recognition it gives to the importance of looking after our NHS staff.’

The Academy of Medical Sciences has elected 60 scientists to its fellowship – the highest number in its 24-year history. This year’s list includes two psychologists – Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (University of Cambridge) and Professor Cathy Creswell (University of Oxford). 

Professor of Psychology Blakemore researches the adolescent brain using behavioural and neuroimaging methods and her work has influenced policy on education, mental health and criminal justice. Professor of Developmental Clinical Psychology Creswell focuses on the development, maintenance and treatment of anxiety disorders in children and young people and has been working to understand the impact of the pandemic and lockdowns on children’s mental health.   

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