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

Back from leave

I took a few days annual leave last week, and spent it London in with the family. While queuing to gain entry to the museums and galleries, I had time to reflect on my first few months in the role of President.

I am grateful that Dr Nick Kosky, chair of the General and Community Faculty, has taken up my challenge. The Faculty will be looking at the underlying principles and standards for how “functional” teams should best work.

There have been many positive and exciting announcements recently. Last week, I welcomed the government’s announcement that it is investing £32 million in psychological therapies for children and young people.

And today, Rethink Mental Illness have had an excellent launch of a new independent expert commission on schizophrenia, to mark 100 years since the term ‘schizophrenia’ was coined. It’s great to see that one of our Fellows, Professor Sir Robin Murray, is chairing this new Schizophrenia Commission. And I hope that as many members as possible – in partnership with the service users they treat and the carers they support – will put forward their views and positive thoughts for the future.

My predecessor, Professor Dinesh Bhugra, and some of our College staff are in Brazil this week. They will take forward the shared work we want to do with the South Americans around around CPD, examinations, and key mental health priorities where we have shared challenges, interests and goals.

Back here in the UK, I have a busy clinical week lined up – before heading off to Australia on Tuesday. I will be attending the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ child and adolescent forensic mental health conference. I’ll also take the opportunity to meet up with Dr David Shiers.  David is based in the UK, but will be in Sydney at the same time as me to talk at a special Keeping the Body in Mind Forum on early intervention for cardiometabolic protection in youth with psychosis.

David is committed to with improving the physical health for those with psychosis through an early intervention angle, and is linking up with colleagues to look at their innovative projects.

Thanks to all of those who have let me know of innovations you are carrying out to ensure better physical health for those with mental illness. Don’t forget you can always respond to my blog using the feedback form below.

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