Getting advice

The Psychiatrists' Support Service is a free, confidential support and advice service for psychiatrists at all stages of their career who find themselves in difficulty or in need of support.

The service is available during office hours Monday to Friday.

Get in touch with the support service: 

  • Call our dedicated telephone helpline on 020 8618 4020
  • Email us in confidence at pss@rcpsych.ac.uk.

If you call us, our support service manager will answer your call, give you information about the service, and answer any questions you might have.

After listening to your situation, they will provide you with some initial advice or signpost you to an appropriate organisation.

Depending on your situation, they might also take your contact details and ask you when you are free for a call with one of our Peer Support Psychatrists (PSPs).

If so, the manager will talk through your case anonymously with a PSP and arrange a time for them to call you.

  • Our trained Peer Support Psychiatrists (PSPs) are psychiatrists and College members but won’t be located in the same area as the you.
  • They will talk through the issues with you, offer support or signpost you to appropriate services, but cannot provide treatment.
  • The service is confidential. But if you disclose an issue that threatens personal or professional safety, we have a professional duty of care to report it to the appropriate agency/organisation.
  • Our dedicated telephone number means your call doesn’t need to go through the main College switchboard.
  • Doctors who are concerned about a colleague sometimes contact the service. The support service manager needs to speak to the person concerned to offer appropriate advice and support.
  • The service is available in office hours Monday to Friday but calls with PSPs can be arranged outside of this time.
We’re continually evaluating the quality of service we provide.

We’d be grateful if you could please submit your feedback on the service you received.

Please note: the survey is anonymous and kept confidential. The information will be used for quality improvement only.

The Psychiatrists’ Support Service only collects data and personal information from you. 

The data we will collect from you includes: 

  • name
  • membership number
  • grade
  • gender
  • email address
  • telephone numbers
  • communication preferences
  • enquiry details.

This list is not exhaustive. However, we will only ask for information to better understand your needs and provide a better service to you.

Personal data will be retained for the life of the caller plus seven years to ensure quality and consistency of service and in line with our legal requirements.

We do not disclose this information to any third parties unless legally obliged to.

In those rare cases where a doctor's health problem appears to pose a risk to their patients, the peer support psychiatrist has a responsibility to prevent harm.

The peer support psychiatrist will try to encourage the doctor to obtain appropriate help to change whatever presents a risk to patients. Failure on the doctor's part to comply will mean that the peer support psychiatrist will have to take advice on how to act and this may be by contacting the General Medical Council (GMC). However, we anticipate these occasions will be very rare and will only ever be undertaken as a means of last resort.

For further details please see our full privacy notice.

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