About our mental health information

Who are we?

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the main professional body for psychiatrists in the UK. We have a world-wide membership.

Why do we produce mental health information?

Public education is one of the central tasks of the College.

We believe that high quality information can help people to make informed decisions about their health and care. We aim to produce information which is:

  • Evidence-based
  • Accessible
  • Up-to-date. 

Does our information just give a doctor's view?

Psychiatrists are medical doctors, but the College tries to take a broader view of mental health problems and their treatments.

As well as providing guidance about available treatments and care, our information suggests ways of keeping yourself mentally well and directs to other resources available.

How is our information written?

Our information is written by psychiatrists and is reviewed by the College's Public Engagement Editorial Board (PEEB) and the Children and Family Public Education Board (CAFPEB).

Following the College’s aim to achieve meaningful co-production, our information is also developed with the support of patients and carers. This helps to ensure our information is representative of the lived experiences of people with mental illness.

We are grateful to the psychiatrists, College members, staff and experts who have helped to produce and review our information.

Does our information meet health information standards?

When producing our information, we follow the Patient Information Forum’s ‘10 criteria for trustworthy health information’:

  1. Information is created using a consistent and documented process.
  2. Staff are trained and supported to produce high-quality information.
  3. Information meets an identified consumer need.
  4. Information is based on reliable, up-to-date evidence.
  5. Patients are involved in the development of health information.
  6. Information is written in plain English.
  7. Print and digital information is easy to use and navigate.
  8. Users can give feedback on information.
  9. Information is promoted to make sure it reaches those who need it.
  10. The impact of information is measured.

Is our information up to date?

Each resource reflects the best evidence available at the time of writing. All resources are produced and reviewed by PEEB or CAFPEB and any experts in the field. They do not contain the views of any particular individual.

We aim to review our resources every three years. However, this is not always possible, and we have dated our resources to show when they were last reviewed. Where there has been a change in policy, evidence or knowledge, resources may be updated more regularly than every three years. Some resources may be removed from the website while they are being updated. 

Can I give feedback on resources?

Your feedback helps us to update and edit our resources, and we appreciate the many helpful comments we receive.

You may be asked to leave feedback on our resources on our website, where we have a short user survey. If you have feedback on our resources you would like to share with us, you can contact leaflets@rcpsych.ac.uk.

Our funding

Our editors are not paid. They are allowed to do this sort of work for a period each week by their employers - universities or health trusts. We do not accept pharmaceutical sponsorship for the printing of our resources, but we do accept some funding from charitable trusts and foundations.

We allocates a budget each year to cover some of the printing, designing and marketing costs. Income is generated by the bulk sale of the paper leaflets which goes back into the production of new materials.

You can make a donation to support work like our mental health information resources here.

Does the College offer translations?

We have over 300 translations of our resources in over 24 languages, which can be found here.

Due to the sheer number of translations, they are not necessarily based on the latest version of our English language resources.

We are thankful to the members who voluntarily translate our resources. 

Does the College offer printed resources?

All of our information can be accessed online, and can be printed or shared with others.

Some of our resources are also available as leaflets, which can be ordered here. We know that it can sometimes be easier to have a physical version of important information to refer to whenever you want, and our leaflets are small enough to fit in a pocket or a bag.

You can check at the top of each resource's webpage to see if a hard copy or printable PDF is available.

What if I need more information about a topic?

At the end of each resource we provide references so you can check the information or find more detailed information. If you would like to know more about a topic, you can also visit the NHS website, or speak to your GP or mental health team.