Sustainability in education: how we are changing psychiatry training to highlight sustainability at all levels
01 December, 2017
Introducing the principals and practical aspects of sustainability and sustainable practice is a key part of work of the RCPsych sustainability committee. In this blog post Jamie Richardson, one of the College’s Sustainability Scholars, explains the exciting project he is currently working on. Jamie is a higher trainee in Intellectual Disabilities in a Leeds community LD service and is a Psychiatry Tutor at the University of Leeds where he is involved in teaching undergraduate medical students:
Over the summer I was pleased to be appointed as one of the two 2017–18 Sustainability Scholars at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The scholarship is currently in its third year, and for the first time as a scholar we will be working more directly with the College, in particular with the sustainability committee, on our particular project. As a scholar I shall be focusing on sustainability and education within the College. Prior to my appointment as a scholar, I had an interest in the environment and climate change, and I hope this appointment will allow me to further my understanding of these issues in relation to mental health, but I have also seen how sustainability encompasses much more, and I look forward to developing my understanding of sustainability more broadly.
The project I will be working will be focusing on the development of sustainability within the educational aspects of the College. To improve sustainability within mental health services, it is important to improve the understanding of sustainability by psychiatrists and other practitioners. My project will focus on two parts; firstly I am currently in the process of writing a proposal for changes to the core trainee curriculum. This proposal aims to suggest changes to the curriculum which will include sustainability concepts, so that core trainees, in seeking membership, will have to develop an understanding of sustainability and sustainable practice as a part of Royal College membership. The College is currently undertaking a review of all the training curricula and I hope this gives us a good opportunity to have sustainability included in the curriculum. The second part of my project involves the development of an online sustainability module for the College's CPD Online series. The College has approved the creation of the module, and we intend to cover sustainability, in general and specific to psychiatry, as well as the concepts of green care and the impact climate change will have on mental health. I hope this module allows current members to improve their understanding of sustainability for their practice, and to allow trainers to develop their understanding when working with their trainees.
This year as a sustainability scholar is set to be an exciting and stimulating opportunity, with a chance to make a significant impact on the way sustainability is taught within the College. I look forward to working with the Sustainability Committee and the College over the coming year and will be sure to keep readers updated with the progress we have made.
Dr Jamie Richardson
ST5 Higher Trainee (Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability)
Psychiatry Tutor (University of Leeds)
Dr Katherine Kennet
CT3 (Psychiatry), Barnet Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (East)