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

Return from Cape Town

Tuesday, 10 April

I returned from Cape Town expecting to be walking through snow, but instead found a beautiful spring day in Manchester. The Easter weekend gave me a chance to catch up with family, the garden and the news.

I see the Care Quality Commission has come in for yet another battering. I have brought together all

parts of the College who are working with the CQC so we can ensure we are doing our best to help them drive up quality and minimise risk. Dealing with acute and ongoing concerns is no easy task for anyone, but quality and risk are everyone's business.

I saw that Lord Rix's 'lament' received little media coverage. According to The Telegraph, he is dismayed by the way children are all too often resorting to words like 'spastic', 'retard' and 'cretin' as terms of abuse, and blames the influence of social networking sites as "there are no norms of behaviour in cyberspace".

Over many years, the College has developed many innovative projects to help reverse the tide of stigma and abuse. These have been co-ordinated through various College campaigns, led by the Director of Communications and Policy Deborah Hart and her team, and reliant on the hard work and invaluable input of many of our members. So maybe it's time to look again at this issue, and how we can reach out to young people through their preferred social communication routes - or else we risk the progress that has been made in fighting stigma and discrimination being reversed. If you have any thoughts of how we can do this via our new 'Resilience and Recovery' campaign, please let me know by emailing your message to the Website Manager, who will be pleased to upload it to the website.

I'm very much looking forward to our Honorary Fellows dinner this evening. I hope I can answer what are their searching, but always wise, questions.



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