Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Mental Health Informatics - About us

NIHR Research for Mental and Psychological Health

MHI aims to appeal to a membership with a broad range of skills and experience. Through our IT skills workshops we teach basic uses of software packages such as word processing and presentation software, as well as more advanced uses tailored to mental health care e.g. statistics packages, reference management packages and research. We encourage exchange of ideas and innovation through our discussion forum and newsletter. We are also involved in establishing mental health informatics on the curriculum for trainees as well as CPD. MHI has produced publications including the Connect newsletter and a book. In the future we intend to focus our efforts on blogging content on these pages.



The Mental Health Informatics Group was formed in 1983 and became a Special Interest Group of the College (Computers in Psychiatry Special Interest Group or CIPSIG) in 1987. The group held annual conferences, published a regular newsletter and held Internet workshops at the College Annual Meetings. In 1995 the Computers in Mental Health (CIMH) website was created by Martin Briscoe and Carl Littlejohns. It expanded to contain an extensive database of computing applications used in Mental Health. An email discussion group was also created which eventually became known as CIMH2000. Both website and discussion list were decomissioned in 2003.

In the autumn 1999 newsletter (produced by the then chair Martin Baggaley) membership of CIPSIG was noted to be approximately 250. Since then the membership has steadily grown to more than 1500 and continues to rise.

In 2005 a joint paper was produced by the chair of CIPSIG Matt Evans and the chair of the Informatics Committee Martin Elphick proposing a structure whereby the two groups could work together more cohesively. The paper was accepted early in 2006 along with a change of name from CIPSIG to MHISIG (Mental Health Informatics Special Interest Group) to reflect the increasing importance of the formal topic of health informatics in our members' working lives. In 2014, MHISIG became a Committee of Council.




Details of minutes from meetings:




Membership is open to anyone with an interest in informatics within the field of mental health. You do not need to be a college member or indeed a psychiatrist.



Discussion forum

The Mental Health Informatics discussion forum was set up as a Yahoo Groups discussion list in 2005. The discussion can only be seen by list members although anyone can join the list. The discussion is (lightly) moderated.

Please note that the CIMH2000 and CIPSIG Discussion List are no longer in existence.



Executive Committee

Member Position
Dr Jonathan Richardson Chair
Dr Justin Marley Vice-Chair
Dr Omer Moghraby Finance Officer

The Informatics Committee is a standing committee of the Central Executive Committee


Terms of reference

1. The Informatics Committee will provide a source of advice for the College on all matters related to health information and developments in health information management. This will be achieved through two principal processes:


  • Commenting and advising on all Reports received by the Committee on issues related to health information. It is anticipated that the majority of these will emanate from the NHS Executive and Department of Health.
  • Participation by its members on relevant national committees and working groups concerned with health service information issues.

2. The Committee will represent the College and provide expert advice to appropriate national committees concerned with health informatics (e.g. Academy of College’s Information Group and National Programme for IT).

3. The Committee will provide advice to the Dean and relevant Committees, through PPC, on matters related to professional standards, education and training in relation to health informatics.

4. The Committee will represent the College on national initiatives on curriculum development and multi-disciplinary education and training.

5. The Committee will disseminate information directly to College members to increase their knowledge and support them in all areas of health informatics.


Contact us

We value contributions from college members, MHISIG members and the general public. Please email us for


  • General enquiries or website comments
  • Official Informatics Committee matters or enquiries
  • MHI enquiries or newsletter submissions

Back to homepage