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Royal College of Psychiatrists

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Royal College of Psychiatrists
Formation1841; 183 years ago (1841)
HeadquartersPrescot Street, London, England
United Kingdom
Lade Smith[1]
AffiliationsAcademy of Medical Royal Colleges
Websitewww.rcpsych.ac.uk Edit this at Wikidata

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the main professional organisation of psychiatrists in the United Kingdom, and is responsible for representing psychiatrists, for psychiatric research and for providing public information about mental health problems. The college provides advice to those responsible for training and certifying psychiatrists in the UK.

In addition to publishing many books and producing several journals, the college produces, for the public, information about mental health problems. Its offices are located at 21 Prescot Street in London, near Aldgate. The college's previous address was Belgrave Square.


The college has existed in various forms since 1841, having started as the Association of Medical Officers of Asylums and Hospitals for the Insane.[2] In 1865 it became the Medico-Psychological Association.[3] In 1926, the association received its royal charter, becoming the Royal Medico-Psychological Association. In 1971, a supplemental charter gave the association the name of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Eleanora Fleury, became the first female member of the Medico Psychological Association in 1894, when she was elected by 23 votes to 7. She remained a member until 1924. This made her the first woman psychiatrist in Ireland or Great Britain.[4][5]

Coat of arms[edit]

The coat of arms incorporates the traditional serpent-entwined Rod of Asclepius symbolic of medicine, and butterflies associated with Psyche. Previous to the grant of these arms, the Medico-Psychological Association had used a device showing the seated Psyche with butterfly's wings. The arms were originally granted to the Royal Medico-Psychological Association in 1926, and were confirmed to the college on its formation in 1971 by the College of Arms.[6] They were also registered in Scotland by the Court of the Lord Lyon.

Policy and campaigns[edit]

The college runs campaigns, including Choose Psychiatry, which has helped increase the fill rate of posts from 78% in 2018[7] to 100%[8] in 2020, as well as calling for parity in the funding of mental health services.

List of presidents[edit]

The president is elected for a three-year term and serves as head of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Royal College of Psychiatrists.
  2. ^ Bewley (2008), p. 10.
  3. ^ Bewley (2008), p. 2.
  4. ^ Collins, Aidan (2013). "Eleanora Fleury captured – extra". British Journal of Psychiatry. 203: 5. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.113.126797.
  5. ^ Thomas Bewley (2008). Madness to Mental Illness: A History of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. RCPsych Publications. pp. 26–27. ISBN 978-1-904671-35-0.
  6. ^ https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/about-us/exploring-our-history/our-history/the-rmpa#:~:text=In%201926%20the%20Association%20was,and%20the%20butterflies%20of%20Psyche.
  7. ^ "HEE 2018 CT1 Core Psychiatry Training" (PDF).
  8. ^ "HEE Specialty recruitment: 2020/21 Final Fill Rate Position".
  9. ^ "Roll of Honour: Presidents". Royal College of Psychiatrists (doc). March 2015. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  10. ^ "RCPsych Presidential Election results announced". Royal College of Psychiatrists. 14 January 2014. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Goodbye and thank you Wendy, welcome Adrian!". www.rcpsych.ac.uk. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Royal College of Psychiatrists elects new president". Royal College of Psychiatrists. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Dr Adrian James elected next President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists". www.rcpsych.ac.uk. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 20 August 2020.

External links[edit]