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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

About the College

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional medical body responsible for supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers, from training through to retirement, and in setting and raising standards of psychiatry in the United Kingdom.


The College aims to improve the outcomes of people with mental illness, and the mental health of individuals, their families and communities. In order to achieve this, the College sets standards and promotes excellence in psychiatry; leads, represents and supports psychiatrists; improves the scientific understanding of mental illness; works with and advocates for patients, carers and their organisations. Nationally and internationally, the College has a vital role in representing the expertise of the psychiatric profession to governments and other agencies.

We are pleased to announce that we have now moved into our new headquarters at 21 Prescot Street, London E1. 


What the College is:

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is an independent professional membership organisation and registered charity representing over 15,000 psychiatrists in the UK and Internationally.  The core purposes of the Royal College of Psychiatrists are to:

  1. Set standards and promote excellence in psychiatry and mental healthcare
  2. Lead, represent and support psychiatrists
  3. Work with patients, carers and other organisations interested in delivering high quality mental health services

 

What we do

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional and educational body for psychiatrists in the United Kingdom.  We aim to:

Set standards and promote excellence in psychiatry and mental healthcare
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is committed to improving the understanding of psychiatry and mental health. We want there to be a greater understanding of the interaction between mental and physical health and the social and cultural context in which people live. We are at the forefront in setting and achieving the highest standards through education, training and research. We lead the way in developing excellence and promoting best practice in mental health services. We promote research and publish the results in our world-class psychiatric journals.

Lead, represent and support psychiatrists
The College actively promotes psychiatry as a career. College structures are robust and provide dedicated support to our members and associates. Nationally and internationally, the College has a vital role in representing the expertise of the psychiatric profession to governments and other agencies. This is key to promoting best practice in mental health. 

Work with patients, carers and their organisations
We collaborate with key players in the mental health field and are champions for improvements in the quality of mental healthcare throughout all sectors of society. Public education is at the heart of our activities and is an essential component of our website.

As well as running its membership examination (MRCPsych), the College organises scientific and clinical conferences and lectures and continuing professional development activities. The College publishes books, reports and educational material for professionals and the general public. It also publishes the British Journal of Psychiatry, The Psychiatrist, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment and International Psychiatry, all of which are now available on-line.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has been in existence in some form since 1841. First as the "Association of Medical Officers of Asylums and Hospitals for the Insane" (later changed to the Medico Psychological Association) then, in 1926 receiving its Royal Charter to become the "Royal Medico Psychological Association, and finally, in 1971 receiving a Supplemental Charter to become the "Royal College of Psychiatrists" we know today.


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