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NEWS > Careers > Memoona Ahmed PGS 2011 - 2018

Memoona Ahmed PGS 2011 - 2018

Memoona was helped by TIC + counselling service whilst at Pate's. She's now an assistant psychologist at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and will be skydiving for the charity on 29th September.
22 Sep 2021
Written by Memoona Ahmed
If you believe in yourself, anything is possible
If you believe in yourself, anything is possible

I have been interested in mental health, specifically that of children and young people, since I first struggled with anxiety myself in Year 7. After realising my passion for Psychology in Sixth Form (thanks to the amazing teaching and guidance of Mrs Scarrott and Mrs Roberts), I decided to study Psychology at university. It took some convincing that I was capable (huge thanks are due to Mrs Collier, Ms Reid and Mrs Oram), but I applied to read Experimental Psychology at University College, Oxford and ended up surprising myself! I was also lucky enough to receive the David Barnes Scholarship from the Pate’s Foundation, which made a huge difference in supporting my studies. 

My degree was a huge challenge and I enjoyed the incredible opportunities on offer to learn from the leading researchers in the field. I also enjoyed taking part in the thriving creative writing and music scenes in Oxford. Despite the intensity of the course, I loved the city and the people I met at university. I soon realised that I wanted to be at the frontline of treating psychological disorders: to make a real impact to the mental wellbeing of those for whom accessing support is difficult and stigmatised. Therefore, I decided to pursue a career in clinical psychology.

Becoming a Clinical Psychologist is a long and winding road; we have to gain relevant and varied experience in the field of mental healthcare. This can come in the form of support work, assisting in mental health services, or any role in which you can support peoples’ mental health and wellbeing. To enter this world of experience, I decided to undertake an internship with TIC+, a counselling service in Gloucestershire who provide essential support to children and young people with mild to moderate mental health and emotional wellbeing struggles. 

TIC+ have worked with Pate’s for a number of years and were integral to supporting me personally during my time at the school, for which I am eternally grateful. This summer, I have been helping the service develop in the light of the mental health crisis that has been exacerbated by COVID-19. I have hugely enjoyed working with immensely experienced clinical staff, consulting with our young people’s advisory group, and conducting research on different ways of supporting children and young people’s mental health. I have had the opportunity to present my work to NHS and external stakeholders, staff and youth groups as well as trustees. I am also working with the Gloucestershire NHS’ lead research clinical psychologist on publishing the research I am doing at TIC+. 

This role has been perfect for me to improve my understanding of the inner workings of mental health service provision, and how important early intervention is in the mental health of children and young people. The next step for me is to work face-to-face with people who are struggling. I feel so lucky to be continuing on with TIC+ as a part-time assistant psychologist this year alongside my new assistant psychologist role at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. I will be delivering treatment to and working with adults who have anxiety/low mood disorders. I am also still involved in expanding my undergraduate research in the Emotion and Social Relations lab group at Oxford and look forward to contributing to clinical research along the way.

To give back to the service which has supported me personally and to contribute to the crucial work TIC+ is doing in the county, I have decided to do a sponsored skydive! Skydiving had always been on the bucket list for me. In 2016 (at the end of my Year 11 at Pate’s), I did a charity skydive with my close friend Noama Chaudhry for Together for Short Lives. We fundraised at school parents' evenings and the Christmas market (and anywhere else we could) - we ended up raising over £800! I enjoyed the experience so much that I could not be more excited to do it again, for a charity so close to my heart. On the 29th of September in Salisbury, I will be jumping out of a plane (yet again) and would be enormously grateful for the support of the Patesian family. TIC+ is meeting the needs of young people across the county, and as a Patesian I can wholeheartedly say that their work at Pate’s is phenomenal. Pate’s has invested in the mental wellbeing of its students and I hope that can continue to grow. My goal is to raise £1,000 for this brilliant cause – you can donate at TIC+ (Teens In Crisis): Memoona's Sponsored Skydive ( Thank you for your support!

After missing the original September date for her skydive due to illness, Memoona successfully completed her jump in November 2021 and achieved her target of raising £1,000 for TIC+ - well done Memoona!

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