Welcome to CAST the Centre for Anxiety, Stress and Trauma…

CAST is The Centre for Anxiety, Stress and Trauma, established at CNWL NHS Foundation Trust. Our purpose is to bring together and disseminate extensive expertise in the knowledge and treatment of mental health difficulties that affect individuals and communities. See our various projects below.

We deliver training and consultancy, provide specialist services and support, and undertake research collaborations. We also provide support for refugees and displaced people and support the responses to major incidents and health emergencies.

CAST draws from NHS and academic expertise from across CNWL Trust and its partners; meet our people here.

Dr John Green is CAST Clinical & Academic Director

Dr Sarah Heke is the lead for the CAST Employee Trauma Service

Dr Jai Adhyaru is the lead for the Afghan Evacuee Response

Training & Consultancy from CAST

  • Training and consultancy: CAST offers training and consultancy to organisations and professionals working in health and care, the emergency services, and also the private sector. We tailor training to your needs and can cover subjects ranging across anxiety, stress, trauma, burnout, and staff wellbeing.

  • Specialist supervision: For those working with people who have witnessed or experienced traumatic events, specialist supervision can be helpful in mitigating against the impact of vicarious trauma. Offered remotely and in-person and as individual or group supervision, CAST works with teams to consider what best supports the wellbeing of their staff.

  • Trauma Awareness Workshops: Delivered by Dr Jai Shree Adhyaru to a wide audience including psychiatrists, nurses, and social workers, the half-day Trauma Awareness Workshop was developed in the context of crisis response in which many people from a range of services may need to work with those who experienced a traumatic event. The interactive workshop focuses on the concept and definition of trauma, the signs, symptoms and impact of trauma in adults and children, cultural understandings and the different treatments available.

Services and support delivered by CAST

  • Supporting the London Metropolitan Police to ensure staff wellbeing: CAST staff have been providing training for “Blue Light” emergency services in issues around trauma. CAST is also providing screening for trauma spectrum disorders and, where appropriate, treatment.  A letter of commendation from the Metropolitan Police was delivered to CAST in recognition of the employee trauma support that we have delivered.

  • Supporting the Grenfell Inquiry: Giving and listening to evidence can have an emotional impact on those involved. CAST has been providing support for witnesses and members of the public attending, or giving evidence at, the public inquiry. People at the inquiry often hear distressing material which can have an adverse effect on their wellbeing. Provision of psychological support contributed to the effective delivery of the inquiry.

  • Supporting School Staff following the death of a student: Our work has offered guidance to schools on how to communicate information and work with those most directly impacted, as well as the impact on the wider school system.

Support for refugees and displaced people

Refugee Nurse Support

CAST has designed and delivered a Refugee Nurse Support programme to assist cohorts of trained nurses relocating to the UK from refugee settings and returning to practice. We help support their wellbeing with proactive screening, pastoral support, and confidential advice.

CAST works in partnership with NHS England and partners including Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), Reset, and Talent Beyond Boundaries to deliver the programme.

The wider programme provides assistance to refugee nurses in coming to the UK, getting employment with NHS hospitals and going through the necessary procedures to obtain registration. We know that integration of refugees into their host communities is a key factor in supporting their emotional and physical wellbeing and gaining meaningful employment is one key way to promote such integration.

The overall program has been very successful bringing much-needed nurses, who are of a very high standard, into the UK health service; it is a program which benefits everyone. CAST is fortunate in having staff and associates with experience in international relocation work and some with personal experience as migrants, including some as refugees.

Five of the refugee nurses joined CNWL Trust in November 2021. Read more here.

Afghan Evacuee Response

CAST convened a team of outreach staff from across CNWL to undertake face-to-face screening and support for Afghan evacuees arriving in North West London and temporarily accommodated in ‘bridging’ hotels. The team sought to address the mental health and wellbeing needs of Afghan evacuees but also picked up more general issues around wellbeing and signposted evacuees to a range of other services which could help their quality of life and integration into British society.

The project is led by Dr Jai Adhyaru and coordinated through close working with the local authorities and a range of third sector providers. The outreach team worked to proactively engage with and speak to as many evacuees resident in hotels as possible (most evacuees arrived at hotels in Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster). We used a standardised interview schedule to ensure all relevant issues were covered and equipped the team with screening tools translated into relevant languages, in addition to involving interpreters in the team.

We will soon make available a full report on the project. The response is still ongoing because some evacuees are still in bridging hotels in North West London as of October 2022. The emphasis has switched from screening to meeting the ongoing needs of those residents who have not yet been relocated, working closely with the local authority and other agencies.

You can read more about this project here                                               

Also: https://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/news/cnwl-heathrow-airport-helping-refugees-afghanistan

Ukrainian Evacuee Response

CAST has collated a range of resources in key languages to support professionals in health and care and beyond with recognising and addressing the needs of people arriving into the UK from Ukraine. These include helpful information from authorities such as the Red Cross on the needs of people who have been through a traumatic event, as well as guides and advice, psychological screening tools for health professionals, and links to other useful resources.

CAST is established at CNWL NHS Foundation Trust


If you have a question or would like to work with CAST email us at cast.cnwl@nhs.net

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