How to run PsychSoc events

This page provides examples of engaging events that PsychSocs can run for their members.

When thinking about setting up and running engaging and successful events, it may be helpful to seek advice from long-running PsychSocs to see what has worked well.

It is important to think about different methods of publicising the events and to reach as wide an audience as possible.

Select someone from the committee with strong negotiation skills who can negotiate costs and try to get sponsorship.

There are many different types of events that can be organised, including:

  • talks
  • tutorials
  • social events
  • exam revision sessions
  • learn about different types of psychiatry; ‘speed dating’ style
  • film screenings and chat

Click the headings below to find out more about some of these.

Types of event

When planning to hold a talk, consider which topics will be most interesting to students. Focus on topics not included in the curriculum, for example:

  • gender identity disorder,
  • mental illness in different cultures, war and psychiatry
  • or doctors with mental illness.

Who to invite

There are various professionals you may choose to talk about mental illness:

  • psychiatrists
  • psychologists
  • philosophers
  • sociologists
  • professors of English or History who can give a different perspective

Aside from professionals, you may decide to have a patient or carer give a talk about their mental health journey. Another option is to invite students who did an elective in psychiatry at your medical school to talk about their experience.

Further support

Your consultant advisers or mental health charities such as Rethink or the Manic Depression Fellowship may be able to point give you some ideas of who to approach.

Make contact with your  Devolved Nation or local Division to find out who you could speak to locally. You can also contact us if you’re looking for a speaker on a particular topic, or for suggestions for particular speakers.

Exam revision sessions are often popular with students so consider arranging a psychiatry revision session for OSCEs.

Such sessions are well received by students and can help to build their confidence with their psychiatric skills. It is also an opportunity to publicise other events of the society.

There are numerous specialties within psychiatry such as psychotherapy, child and adolescent, liaison, old age, and forensic.

Buy wine and nibbles and set up a speed-dating format where students have five minutes to find out about each psychiatric specialty from the Consultant or SAS Doctor. 

Film screenings of popular movies featuring psychiatrists, psychiatry or mental illness are a good way of attracting a student audience.

This can be followed by a discussion about the film and how mentally ill characters or psychiatrists were portrayed.

For example, you may be able to arrange a screening of  Magic Medicine and even a Q&A with the director. Please contact Magic Medicine directly. 

You could also consider working with organisations such as Medfest.

Pre-clinical medical students tend not to have much exposure to patients and will jump at the opportunity for some clinical shadowing.

Through your contacts, you can arrange for them to shadow a registrar or consultant for the day.

What to include at your event

Everyone loves a freebie! So where possible, buy some snacks, refreshments and wine.

We may also be able to provide you with free pens, key rings and other fun stuff you can hand out, email us for more info about this.



Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry