The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional medical body responsible for supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers from training through to retirement, and in setting and raising standards of psychiatry in the United Kingdom.
We work to secure the best outcomes for people with mental illness, learning disabilities and developmental disorders by promoting excellent mental health services, training outstanding psychiatrists, promoting quality and research, setting standards and being the voice of psychiatry.
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:
- up to date.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors, and our resources are written with the guidance and input of members of the College and other medical professionals.
However, 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.
In our information resources we may include links to other charities where they offer relevant information and support. Unless otherwise specified, the College does not endorse these charities and cannot guarantee the quality of information and support that they provide.
We involve people with lived experience of mental illness in the production of all of our resources, and aim for our resources to be 'co-produced'.
Our information is co-produced by patients, carers, psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals, and is reviewed by the College's Public Engagement Editorial Board (PEEB) and the Child and Family Public Engagement Editorial Board (CAFPEB).
The members of these Boards are as follows:
Public Engagement Editorial Board (PEEB)
Chair: Professor Wendy Burn
Ms Abiola Johnson (carer representative)
Dr Akshey Nair
Dr Fiona Rajé (patient representative)
Dr Jim Bolton
Dr John Crosby
Dr Louay ElTagy
Ms Victoria Bridgland (patient representative)
Child and Family Public Engagement Editorial Board (CAFPEB)
Lead Editor: Dr Laura Sutherland
Ms Abiola Johnson (carer representative)
Miss Emma Wakefield (patient representative)
Dr Jane Whittaker
Dr Maggie McGurgan
Mrs Toni Wakefield (carer representative)
Co-production helps to ensure our information is representative of the lived experiences of people with mental illness.
We are grateful to the psychiatrists, healthcare professionals, College members, staff and experts by experience who have helped to produce and review our information.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists was certified by the Patient Information Forum's PIF TICK Quality Mark for Health Information in March 2023.
To gain accreditation, organisations must meet 10 key criteria in their information production process:
- Information is created using a consistent and documented process.
- Staff are trained and supported to produce high-quality information.
- Information meets an identified consumer need.
- Information is based on reliable, up-to-date evidence.
- Patients are involved in the development of health information.
- Information is written in plain English.
- Print and digital information is easy to use and navigate.
- Users can give feedback on information.
- Information is promoted to make sure it reaches those who need it.
- The impact of information is measured.
Each resource reflects the best evidence available at the time of writing. All resources are produced and reviewed by PEEB or CAFPEB and selected 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. You can find these dates at the bottom of each resource page.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The medical professionals who help to develop our resources 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, and to reimburse patient and carer representatives for their valuable time. Income is generated by the bulk sale of the paper leaflets which goes back into the production of new materials.
Please consider making a donation to support work like our mental health information resources.
We have over 300 translations of our resources in over 24 languages. Due to the sheer number of translations, they are not necessarily based on the latest version of our English language resources.
We are currently working with a non-profit, CLEAR Global, and their community of more than 100,000 language volunteers, Translators without Borders, to update our translations.
We are thankful to the members who have voluntarily translated our resources in the past.
All of our information can be accessed online, and can be printed or shared with others.
Some of our resources are also available as printed leaflets; which are available to order. 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.
Many of our resources include a 'further information' section, where we have provided links to external organisations or forms of support that readers might find helpful.
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.