Shirley McNicholas

About Shirley McNicholas

Shirley McNicholas is Women’s Lead for Camden and Islington Foundation NHS Trust and the founder of Drayton Park Women’s Crisis House and Resource Centre.

This is a trauma informed women only model provided by an all women team. It’s focus is on the small details of how we treat each other that can a healing and validating effect to women in mental health crisis.

Areas of interest

  • Crisis Houses
  • trauma informed approaches
  • Website 

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About Shirley

Shirley McNicholas is Women’s Lead for Camden and Islington Foundation NHS Trust and the founder of Drayton Park Women’s Crisis House and Resource Centre. In collaboration with women who use services and the team at Drayton Park she created the ‘Drayton Park Model’. This is a trauma informed women only model provided by an all women team. It’s focus is on the small details of how we treat each other that can a healing and validating effect to women in mental health crisis. The model is robust and has stood the test of 24 years of operation.

Drayton Park established in 1995 was founded on trauma informed principles. Trauma informed care is based on the understanding that many clients have suffered traumatic experiences , and the provider is responsible for being sensitive to this fact, regardless of whether a person is being treated specifically for the trauma.

Shirley says:

“I have worked in mental health since 1983 when I began my mental health student nurse training at Friern Hospital; I witnessed a lot of very poor and damaging care and had very little power to do anything about it.

I knew that once I gained my qualification, I would spend my career trying to create a service that offered an authentic therapeutic experience and that I would only employ staff who I believed held strong ethical and moral codes close to their heart.”

Shirley has also developed the Women’s’ Lead post and the Women’s Strategy group. This group has at its foundation women who use services and together we work on improving services for women across the Trust. Shirley leads on Domestic and Sexual abuse policies and projects for the Trust and is currently working on a Sexual Safety Programme.

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