Forest School Lookout Out Lectures: Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones

“The latest inspiring speaker to join us as part of the 6th Form Look Out lecture programme was Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones.

In fact, to describe Dr Bowden-Jones as an inspirational woman would be to do her a disservice. She is a medical doctor and neuroscientist working as Consultant Psychiatrist  in Addictions at Imperial College, and is President elect of the Medical Women’s Federation. What’s more, Henrietta is the Founder and Director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic  based in Soho, the first  and only NHS multidisciplinary centre in the UK for the treatment of problem gamblers.

Henrietta also runs the UK Problem Gambling Research Consortium, a group of 12 researchers from Imperial, Cambridge, Oxford and UCL collaborating on different research projects exploring the neurobiology of pathological gambling. Prior to founding the National Problem Gambling Clinic, Henrietta ran for many years the inpatient NHS detoxification services for alcohol and drugs in central London, as well as leading the Soho Rapid Access Clinic, treating the homeless drug addicts of central London.

Henrietta frequently lectures nationally and internationally, and has been interviewed extensively by the press and radio as well as TV. She gave a TED talk in 2013. In her charity work she has been a Trustee and then a Patron of Sporting Chance Clinic since 2006, a high profile addiction charity which helps top sportsmen and women in the UK in their fight against drugs, alcohol and gambling. We were exceptionally lucky to have her at Forest!

Given the attention paid to the rise of problem gambling in the UK by the government and media, Dr Bowden-Jones’ talk was an especially topical one. What made this talk quite distinctive, however, was the way she focused on the human aspects of problem gambling, and she interspersed her presentation with funny and poignant anecdotes about her career and life in medicine. She left us with the strong impression of a woman who is simply determined to make a positive difference to the world, and she urged our students to do their utmost to find something which inspires them similarly in the future.”

What the students said:

“This has to be one of the most interesting talks we’ve had all year”

“I particularly liked how Dr Bowden-Jones based her talk on her own clinical experiences and how she demonstrated her passion for her work”