Our work

Learn more about the work Rainbow SIG does for the College.

Details of our Annual Business Meetings will be published here. 

If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact sigs@rcpsych.ac.uk.

Committee and liaison work

Members of the executive committee continue to provide representation for our communities on a number of different committees. The executive committee also provides advice on updating relevant position statements and any other matters when requested by RCPsych. 

International Congress

The SIG regularly contributes to the programme at our International Congress. In recent years we have delivered a number of sessions:

  • 2023: S22 'On being me'- understanding mental health of LGBT people
  • 2021: Addressing substance misuse in LGBT+ communities
  • 2019: Inclusivity in mind: LGBT mental health, training and workforce development
  • 2019: LGBT issues in low and middle-income countries (in collaboration with  Volunteering and International Psychiatry special interest group)

Pride Celebrations

The SIG has an active role in assisting the College in Pride celebrations each year. We have hosted webinars in 2020 and 2022 that included presentations on LGBTQ+ mental health research, supporting LGBTQ+ individuals through grassroots sport, Pride in lockdown, Pride at work, and bringing your whole self to work. 

Our executive committee members  Louise Theodosiou and  Alan Mackenzie have previously recorded videos about what Pride means to them alongside other members of the College.

Educational Seminars and Symposia

This SIG prides itself on its contribution to College meetings through the extensive seminars and workshops that have been undertaken. We feel that these meetings are good opportunities to meet the aims of our SIG. Some of our previous topics have included:

  • working with transgender patients
  • why sexual preference and gender identity should matter to mental health professionals
  • providing support for children and young people with gender variance
  • being gay or lesbian in the NHS: issues for staff and patients
  • self-harm in vulnerable groups
  • discrimination and mental health
  • working with mental health problems in lesbian and gay clients
  • psychotherapy for lesbian, gay and bisexual people
  • sex and psychosis
  • multiple diversities
  • boundaries and therapeutic relationships
  • 'therapies' that claim to change sexual orientation
  • working with the older LGBT person.

Advisory Work

The group has advised the College on the position statements concerning sexual orientation and supporting transgender and gender-diverse people. We have also been involved in discussions around equality, diversity, and inclusion strategy with the College and supported the College to achieve the outcomes of the Equality Action Plan. We were closely involved in the delivery of a survey to understand discrimination against LGBT+ psychiatrists in the United Kingdom in 2022. 

The group represented the Royal College of Psychiatrists on the Special Interest Group in Gay and Lesbian Mental Health at the National Institute for Mental Health England.

Former committee member, Professor Michael King served as a member of the Social and Biological Sciences Thematic Group on the Church of England’s 'Living in Love and Faith' initiative from 2018-2020.  This initiative aimed to provide Christian teaching and learning about identity, sexuality, relationships and marriage.  The report was published towards the end of 2020 ( https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/living-love-and-faith).  Michael King helped to provide scientific evidence on sexuality and the mental health of LGBT people for this report. 

The group prepared a report on behalf of the Royal College to the Church of England’s 'Listening Exercise' on attitudes towards human sexuality, which aimed to gather opinions from a wide range of groups across the world. We limited our comments to areas that pertain to the origins of sexuality and the psychological and social wellbeing of lesbian, gay and bisexual people. This report was also submitted to The Pilling Commission, which published its report in 2013.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry