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

Sunday Express Crusade

Monday, 27 February

Yesterday, the Sunday Express launched a new Crusade for Better Mental Health (26 February, p.10). This is a very interesting new campaign, but perhaps more interesting was the supporting commentary by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on p.11.

Mr Clegg gave "three cheers" to the paper and promised to continue to "champion this cause". I hope this means he, and the rest of the coalition government, will support the amendment giving parity of esteem to mental and physical health services when the Health and Social Care Bill returns to the Commons next month.

Tonight, I am at a dinner organised by the NHS Commissioning Board. I hope they will take on board all the work that our College is doing through the Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health to inform and support the commissioning of mental health services.

In the meantime, I wanted to take this opportunity to raise awareness of some of the excellent work being carried out by our International Advisory Committee. There are some really good projects going on, thanks to very active involvement from members from a wide range of groups.

The trainees, via their European group, are doing a number of exchanges across EU countries. There is so much that can be learnt from different systems and cultures, and I hope that we can work towards a point when experience working in other countries is seen as a more mainstream part of core training.

The College Sub-Committee on Iraq has recently published their 2011 annual report and a longer report detailing their activity over the last 7 years. These documents demonstrate what can be achieved even in such challenging circumstances.  



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