Our work

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

The Rainbow SIG will be holding its virtual ABM on Wednesday 23 June 1pm through Zoom. We encourage all Rainbow SIG members to attend. 

Please contact Kelsey to receive the link to attend the virtual ABM. 

Pride 2021

We are working with the College on a range of content and events to celebrate Pride month in June 2021. RCPsych President, Dr Adrian James, has written a blog post to celebrate and reflect on the start of Pride.

Our incoming Rainbow SIG Chair, Dr Pavan Joshi, will be chairing a free member webinar entitled Pride at Work on 17 June, 4-5pm. This event promises to have some interesting and insightful speakers. We would encourage all members to attend. 

RCPsych International Congress 2021

The SIG will be hosting a session at the RCPsych International Congress taking place between 21 and 24 June 2021. Our session is entitled 'Addressing Substance Misuse in LGBT+ Communities' and will take place on 21 June 11.55am - 1.05pm. The session will be chaired by our executive committee member Professor Helen Killaspy. 

As part of the Congress Fringe events, our current SIG Chair, Maire Cooney, and incoming SIG Chair, Pavan Joshi, will appear in conversation with filmmakers Bennett Singer and Patrick Sammon discussing their film CURED on 21 June 2021 at 4.55pm. The film is also available for attendees to view throughout the congress. 

Committee and liaison work

Members of the executive committee continue to provide representation for our communities on a number of different committees. As an example, our current chair, Dr Maire Cooney, has been involved in the RCPsych Equalities Taskforce and chaired one of the roundtable discussions. The executive committee has also provided advice to the RCPsych on updating relevant position statements. 

International Congress Sessions

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

Pride 2020: the new normal

We hosted a free webinar to celebrate Pride on 18 June 2020. This included presentations on LGBTQ+ mental health research, supporting LGBTQ+ individuals through grassroots sport and pride in lockdown.

A number of other content including videos about what Pride means to executive committee members Louise Theodosiou and Alan Mackenzie, as well as a blog about bisexual mental health co-authored by Mike Smith are available online. Maire Cooney also touched on Pride in her blog post.

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:

  • 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 been involved in advising the College on the position statements concerning sexual orientation and supporting transgender and gender-diverse people.

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.

Committee member, 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.

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