Honorary Fellows and President’s medal winners accept awards at virtual ceremony

Online news
11 November 2021

President medal winners and Honorary Fellows accepted their awards at a virtual presentation ceremony today. 

The presentation ceremony would normally take place during the International Congress but was held online again this year for the second time.

Our President Dr Adrian James and Registrar Dr Trudi Seneviratne hosted the event and introduced each recipient who then gave an acceptance speech. 

Each year the President and the nomination committee nominates up to seven medal winners and up to five Honorary fellows.

Newly appointed Honorary Fellows

The Honorary Fellowship award is the highest accolade that the College can give members, and is presented to individuals who have demonstrated a distinguished service to humanity in relation to the study, prevention or treatment of mental illness or psychiatry throughout their careers.

Professor Wendy Burn CBE

Having first become involved with the College as a tutor back in 1990, Professor Wendy Burn became President of the College in 2017. During her three years at the helm, she accomplished an incredible amount, tirelessly campaigning for better investment in Mental Health, improving recruitment and retention in psychiatry, and overseeing the roll out of the College values of Courage, Innovation, Respect, Collaboration, Learning and Excellence. Under her leadership the College was named Charity of the Year at the European Diversity Awards in 2019.

Professor Dame Sally Davies

Dame Sally was the Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Medical Adviser to the Government between 2011 and 2019 – the first woman to hold the post.  As CMO she made significant recommendations to improve public mental health services, outlining the importance of both treating mental health as equal to physical health and of focusing on the needs and safety of people with mental illness. The Advocacy Volume of her 2013 Annual Report was based solely on mental health, the first CMO Annual Report to do so.

Jacqui Dyer MBE

Jacqui Dyer is an independent health and social care consultant with a background in adult mental health commissioning as well as community and family social work. She was vice chair of England’s Mental Health Taskforce, which collaboratively developed the 5 year Forward View for Mental Health for NHSE. Jacqui was also an advisory panel member of the Mental Health Act Review and co-chair of its African & Caribbean Working Group. Jacqui is currently the Mental Health Equalities advisor for NHS England and co-chairs the Mayoral ‘Thrive London’ programme. 

Professor Louise Howard

Professor Howard is a professor in women's mental health and consultant perinatal psychiatrist at South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Much of her early research was on domestic violence and abuse, finding that mental health services were not always picking up on violence as a cause of mental illness, and noting the gendered nature of the risk factors. With this research (for which she has won several awards) and with great persistence, she has changed the gender bias in mental health research, education, policy and practice.

Professor David Taylor

Professor Taylor is the lead author of the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry. He was the originator of the idea of an evidenced-based mental health prescribing guideline and has made a major and unique contribution by writing the Guidelines for the past 25 years. Since 2011 he has been editor-in-chief of the journal Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. He has also been Head of Pharmacy since 1995 and Director of Pharmacy and Pathology at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust since 2010.

Winners of the President’s Medals 

The President’s Medal recipients are chosen each year by the President and approved by the College’s Nominations Committee. The award is designed to honour and offer the College’s gratitude to a small number of deserving people who have contributed to policy, public knowledge, education and meeting population and patient care needs in diverse and challenging circumstances.  

These awards are instituted to extend the ways in which we celebrate and honour people in all walks of life who have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to improving the lives of people with mental illness.

Professor Carolyn Chew-Graham

Professor Chew-Graham is Professor of General Practice Research at Keele University. She is also a member of the NICE Clinical Guideline Development Group Depression - work which directly impacts on commissioning decisions and patient care. Her main areas of interest and expertise include the management of patients with depression, multi-morbidity and unexplained symptoms; she is also interested in the mental health of clinicians.  

Dr Virginia Davies

Dr Davies is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist working in Paediatric Liaison at the Whittington Hospital. She has chaired the Child and Family Public Engagement Board (CAFPEB) and is the Paediatric Liaison lead for the Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and is editor of their Executive Committee Newsletter.

Dr Ian Hall

Dr Hall is the lead clinician for Services for people with Learning Disabilities at the East London NHS Foundation Trust, where he has led on a series of service developments in the Trust’s learning disability services.  He has worked closely with the College over many years and in 2019 was appointed as Chief Examiner. During his time in this role he has overseen the migration to online exams.  

David Harewood MBE

David Harewood is an actor, director, author and activist. Through his exploration of important and often difficult subjects, David has become a driving force for systematic and cultural change. He is a mental health ambassador and has been open about his own struggles. He has worked with UNICEF to protect children in danger and helped raise awareness as well as millions of pounds for many charities, organisations and individuals globally.

Ajibola Lewis

Aji Lewis is a lawyer whose son Seni died as a result of restraint in a psychiatric hospital in 2010. After nearly a decade of tirelessly campaigning, the Mental Health (use of force) Bill, known as Seni’s Law, received royal assent in 2018. Aji has made many media appearances during the last decade, continuing to advocate for improvements in transparency and more effective accountability in the treatment of mental health patients, particularly people of colour.

Dr John Mitchell

Dr Mitchell is a retired consultant liaison psychiatrist. He was Principal Medical Officer in the Scottish Government from 2014 and retired in the Spring of 2020, only to return to lead Scotland’s mental health response to Covid. This saw him play a key role in establishing response structures to the pandemic’s impact, bringing together the collective voices of Scotland’s mental health organisations to inform government decisions.

Dr Philip Timms

Dr Timms is a consultant psychiatrist at the National Psychosis Unit, Maudsley Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer at King’s College London. He established the first mental health outreach team for homeless people in the UK. For 15 years he chaired the editorial board for the Public Education Committee at the College and continues to edit RCPsych print resources for the public.