Christmas Debate for Young People 2013
Each year, the College's Public Education Committee holds a
Christmas debate for young people. Secondary schools from across
the Greater London area are invited to bring pupils aged
14-18. The debate is an excellent opportunity for young people
to engage in discussions about mental health issues, and find out
more about what psychiatrists do.
In 2013, due to popular demand, the debate was held twice -
reaching a total audience of 400 young people. The motion was:
'This house believes there is no such thing as social
Alcohol is consumed by many people to relax
and be more sociable. However, in the UK levels of alcohol
consumption are increasing. There is concern about the
implications for the nation’s health and the link between alcohol
and anti-social behaviour. When introducing the Government’s
recent Alcohol Strategy, the Prime Minister wrote, “We can’t go on
like this.” The debate was designed to ask if there
is such a thing as safe and responsible drinking, or has the
time come to say enough is enough?
Speaking for the motion were Dr Chetna Kang and
Dr Fareeha Amber Sadiq, and speaking against
the motion were Dr Janaki Bansal and Dr
Rory Conn. As usual, the debate was ably chaired by Public
Education Committee Chairman Dr Jim Bolton,
assisted by Dr Gil Myers who kept a close eye on
comments that came in from the audience via Twitter.
Our excellent debating panel were (left to right): Dr Chetna
Kang, Dr Rory Conn, Dr Jim Bolton, Dr Gil Myers, Dr Fareeha Amber
Sadiq and Dr Janaki Bansal.
As always, the debate provoked lively discussion from the
audience - both in the room and on Twitter. You can see a summary
of the debate and a selection of the audience's Twitter comments on
The audience were invited to vote for or against the motion at
both the beginning of the debate and the end. It was clear from the
outset that the vast majority of the audience did not support the
motion. Although our proposers put up a great argument in favour,
they only managed to convince a few people - and in both in the
morning and afternoon sessions the motion was soundly defeated.
Well done to all our debaters. We look forward to hosting
another debate in 2014.
RCPsych Christmas Debate for Young People 2014
If you would like to suggest a topic for the 2014 debate,
or register your interest in attending this year's debate, please
email Thomas Kennedy,
Communications Manager for Public Engagement or call 020 3701