Update for members on College actions relating to the Middle East conflict

Statement / comment
09 November 2023

We have heard from many of you, our members, expressing your views about the appalling conflict in the Middle East. It’s difficult to find the adequate words but we share your concern and heartbreak at seeing this horror continue.

There will already be significant impacts being felt by civilians and healthcare workers, including short and long-term effects on their mental health.

Like you, we want to see a swift and peaceful resolution; for a future where all those affected can be supported to get the help they need. 

This is a highly sensitive situation, but the College is very aware that it's not an option to do nothing.

We have written to the Government highlighting the significant impact armed conflict has on the mental health of individuals. It is vital that support is provided to those on the ground, but also in the UK and beyond, who are extremely worried about their family and friends, as well as what the conflict could mean for their own safety. We asked that the government do its best to bring the situation to an early resolution.

Our primary focus in these upcoming weeks is to provide support to colleagues and caregivers working on the front line of relief efforts, so they can incorporate essential mental healthcare as well as physical care for anyone who needs it.

Members of our International Advisory Committee (IAC) have reached out to our counterparts from the affected areas to offer additional practical support. We are already developing Psychological First Aid courses for a team assisting on the ground.

Many of you are in contact with communities in the UK and in the affected areas. Please let our International team know if there are organisations that would benefit from these courses or other practical mental health information and resources that we can try to provide.

The College website also hosts a hub of information for international emergencies. These include translations of patient resources in Arabic and Hebrew. The hub has guidance and free eLearning modules on the mental health response for complex humanitarian emergencies, and signposts to a number of additional relevant resources.

We are acutely aware that this conflict is not confined to the Middle East, and it is affecting our mental health here too. We would like to remind you of our Psychiatrists' Support Service (PSS)  which provides free, rapid, high-quality peer support by telephone to psychiatrists of all grades who may be experiencing personal difficulties.

Please look after yourselves and each other in these very difficult moments.

For further information, please contact: