About us 

The aim of the volunteering and international SIG is primarily altruistic. VIPSIG will promote and support mental health accessibility to all regardless of location and means.

VIPSIG hopes to support training and education in the international arena and will aim to:

  • Promote volunteer work overseas and expand the population of people interested in this work.
  • Be a voice that will inform the College and serve as an agent in this work.
  • Have a fundraising role in order to develop more volunteer possibilities.
  • Produce a newsletter in order to celebrate volunteerism in the UK and globally.
  • Establish e-groups in order to promote this field by regular discussion.
  • Promote appropriate training materials for volunteers overseas.
  • Explore web-based psychiatry training to assist training sites in mental health.
  • Establish links with non-governmental organisations and Diaspora communities.
  • Promote overseas electives for medical students and encouragement of psychiatry as a career.
  • Promote the overseas experience in psychiatry as a desirable attribute for the NHS.

As well as having an international focus, VIPSIG will also be a forum for volunteer work in the UK. This is an area that needs some development and will fit into the Government’s objectives.

VIPSIG will function by e-groups, virtual and face-to-face meetings. We will aim to have our meetings throughout the UK.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is committed to supporting mental health care across the world, particularly in countries that are known to suffer from an acute shortage of psychiatrists.

The College’s volunteer scheme aims to facilitate contact between hospitals, clinics, projects and communities in need of psychiatric expertise and training, and psychiatrists who are willing to offer their time and support.

To register with the RCPsych volunteer scheme, you will need to complete and return the volunteers registration form.

VIPSIG is open to all members and associates of the College.

There are two ways Members of the College can join VIPSIG:

You can also join us on Facebook.

Upcoming events

Course on Preparation for working in mental health in a humanitarian setting

10 day course led by senior experienced trainers, including Dr Lynne Jones. Lynne is the author of the excellent and well reviewed book Outside the Asylum: A Memoir of War, Disaster and Humanitarian Psychiatry. This international course in September is already well subscribed so decide soon! Please see advert for further details. You may also be interested in Lynne’s blog from her current post in Belize (PDF).

Annual Global Health Conference

Save the date- 26th and 27th September 2019.

Volunteering Skills: How to be an effective and professional international volunteer

Date: One day event has been postponed. Those wishing to be notified once a date has been set can email volunteer@rcpsych.ac.uk

Location: Royal College of Psychiatrists, London

Past events

WHO Humanitarian mhGAP and Psychological First Aid One day Orientation

Date: 13 September 2019

Location: Royal College of Psychiatrists, London

Please see conference agenda (PDF) for further information.

VIPSIG Annual Day Conference – eLearning Opportunities and Challenges

Date: Tuesday 18 September 2018

Location: Royal College of Psychiatrists, London

VIPSIG Executive Meeting – Business Meeting welcoming new Regional Representatives

Date: Friday 22 June 2018

Location: Royal College of Psychiatrists, London

No current news to report.

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