Position Statements

Position Statements are approved by the College’s Policy and Public Affairs Committee and are concise statements of College policy.

These statements are available to download in PDF format (free of charge).

Withdrawal of, and alternatives to, valproate-containing medicines in girls and women of childbearing potential who have a psychiatric illness (PDF)

This Position Statement provides guidance relating to prescribing decisions regarding valproate preparations in women of childbearing potential.

Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of psychiatrists (PS03/18 July 2018) (PDF)

How the mental health and wellbeing of psychiatrists can be supported.

Supporting transgender and gender-diverse people (PS02/2018 March 2018) (PDF)

How to work with transgender and gender-diverse people if they seek mental health services.

Racism and mental health (PS01/2018 March 2018) (PDF)

Improving the quality of mental healthcare in a way that respects and values the principles of diversity and inclusion.

Decision-making capacity of detainees in immigration removal centres (IRCs) (PS03/2017 November 2017)(pdf)

Tackling the complex subject of for assessing decision-making capacity of detainees in immigration removal centres and looking to find ways of making progress.

Guidance on use of the title ‘Consultant Psychiatrist’ (PS02/2017 May 2017) (pdf)

Our advice on good practice in the use of clinical job titles.

Competing interests: guidance for psychiatrists (PS01/2017 March 2017) (pdf)

Advice on how psychiatrists can recognise and deal with competing interests.


Definition of torture in the context of immigration detention policy (PS07/2016 Dec 2016) (pdf)

Our position on maintain safeguards for vulnerable people with a history of torture, trafficking or other serious ill-treatment.

Guidance for office accommodation and administrative support for consultant posts (PS06/2016 Nov 2016) (pdf)

Guidance on office accommodation and administrative support for consultant posts.

Counter-terrorism and psychiatry (PS04/2016 Sep 2016) (pdf)

The College's position on mental illness, terrorism and psychiatrists' engagement with counter-terror services.

Responding to large-scale traumatic events and acts of terrorism (PS03/2016 Aug 2016) (pdf)

What we can do to limit the psychological impact of large-scale events, including terrorism.

Defining a health-based place of safety (S136) and crisis assessment sites for young people under 18 (PS02/2016 Aug 2016) (pdf)

The College's definition of the health-based place of safety and crisis assessment sites, and to lay out the standards required for quality provision.

Providing evidence-based psychological therapies to people with long-term conditions and/or medically unexplained symptoms (PS02/2015 Dec 2015) (pdf)

There is an urgent need to provide people who have mental health problems in the context of long-term physical health conditions with more integrated physical and psychological healthcare to improve their quality of life.

Sustainability in mental health care (PS01/2015 Oct 2015) (pdf)

Sustainability in mental health care will deliver better outcomes for patients now and in the future, in the face of environmental, economic and social constraints.


Royal College of Psychiatrists' and Royal College of Physicians' statement on neuroleptic malignant syndrome (PS03/2014 Dec 2014) (pdf)

NMS is a rare and serious complication of antipsychotic therapy and is best considered a medical emergency and is properly managed in an acute hospital.

Royal College of Psychiatrists' statement on sexual orientation (PS02/2014 April 2014) (pdf)

The Royal College of Psychiatrists considers that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of biological and postnatal environmental factors and there is no evidence that any kind of choice into the origins of sexual orientation.

Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Statement on Mental Health Payment Systems (PS01/2014 Jan 2014) (pdf)

The College’s position on Mental Health Payment Systems.

Recommendations for psychiatrists on spirituality and religion (PS03/2013 Nov 2013) (pdf)

Guidance clarifying the boundaries of good practice of considering spirituality and religion in psychiatric practice.

Guidance for commissioners: service provision for Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (PS02/2013 April 2013)(pdf)

How commissioners should provide services for S136 of the Mental Health Act.

A blank survey to enable a review of the key components of the commissioned service for Section 136.

The integration of personal budgets in social care and personal health budgets in the NHS (PS01/2013 March 2013)(pdf)

The College’s position on the use of Personal Budgets in social care and Personal Health Budgets in the NHS as tools for recovery.

Managing the impact of violence on mental health, including among witnesses and those affected by homicide (PS01/2012 July 2012) (pdf)

Improving mental health outcomes for those affected by violence across genders, all age groups and all violence categories.

Ethics of psychiatric research (PS02/2011 March 2011) (pdf)

Research can bring major benefits and whenever and wherever possible, ethically sound, high-quality research should be facilitated.

Research priorities for psychiatry (PS01/2011 March 2011) (pdf)

Research is essential to our understanding of mental health and illness and every psychiatrist should have a good grasp of the latest research in their field of practice.

No health without public mental health: The case for action (PS04/2010 Oct 2010) (pdf)

Mental health is a central public health issue and provides an essential contribution to a wide range of health and social outcomes for individuals and society.

Self-harm, suicide and risk: a summary (PS03/2010 July 2010) (pdf)

Examples of excellent best practice across the UK and how we can improve the care of people at risk of suicide and self-harming behaviour.

Supervision for career-grade psychiatrists in managed settings (PS02/2010 July 2010) (pdf)

The College’s view on the principles underpinning the process of clinical supervision.

Age Discrimination in Mental Health Services: Making Equality a Reality (PS02/2009 Oct 2009) (pdf)

Making all services available to people on the basis of need not age and that comprehensive specialist mental health services for older people are essential to meet need across the life cycle.

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry