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Image by StarbuckGuy on Flickr

If you’re a student, enjoy writing and wouldn’t mind the chance to win a prize, why not have a go at entering the Royal College of Psychiatrists student essay competition.

The title for this year’s essay is ‘Critically evaluate the effect of the worldwide recession on mental health’. Essays can be upto 3,000 words and should also have a 250 word summary.  The winner will receive £500 and see their essay published on the College website and newsletter.  The deadline for entries is 14 June.  To find out more check out the competition flier.

Image by .stocker on Flickr

Journalist Janet Street Porter has stirred up controvesy this week with her article ‘Depression? It’s just the new trendy illness‘ in the Daily Mail.  She suggests that depression is the new must-have accessory like the latest trendy handbag and that it seems to be a middle class ailment.  So far the piece has attracted 358 comments from Daily Mail readers from around the globe, I can’t claim to have read them all but the first few sum the general feeling, ie that this is an ill-informed and offensive piece of writing.  The strength of feeling about this article has also seen a Facebook  Group site set up – Outrage over Janet Street Porter’s Article on Depression – with 3,494 members signed up at the time of writing.

Today in the daily Mirror Alastair Campbell, former Labour Party spin doctor and well know for having experienced depression, has hit back at Street Porter’s article with his own piece  ‘The Reality of Depression‘.   He gives an insight into his experience of depression and highlights that one in four of the population are affected by mental health problems and the stigma associated with mental health.  Campbell has donated his fee for the article to Time to Change which is campaining to bring an end to mental health prejudice and he challenges Street Porter to do the same.

Campbell has talked openly about his depression before and he even made a BBC documentary about his own breakdown and depression.  You can see a clip of him below talking about this and the prejudice that people with mental health issues face.

It’s that time again, the new RCPSYCH newsletter for June is now out.  To find out what’s in this month’s edtion take a look on the College website.

RCPSYCH May Newsletter

The May edition of the RCPSYCH newsletter is now available on the College website.  With the General Election just round the corner there’s a topical piece comparing the health policies of the three main political parties.  The College have also been busy updating their series of public information leaflets.  There’s a new leaflet on mental health in pregnancy, whilst leaflets on Schizophrenia, Men and Depression and Anxiety, Panic and Phobias have been updated.  Also new to the RCPSYCH website this month is a book review section, and readers are being encouraged to submit book reviews which have a mental health theme.  There are a handful of reviews to get the series started and the books reviewed so far include novels, biographies and self-help books.

RCPSYCH January Newsletter

You can catch up with the latest news from the Royal College of Psychiatrists by checking out the January Newsletter, which is now available on the College website.  This month’s offering includes the usual mixture of links to news stories and details of consultations with the College as well as the College’s annual review for 2009.  There are also a couple of calls aimed at those with an interest in grand designs as the College is inviting members to submit

  • photographs and paintings for exhibition at the Annual Meeting of the RCPSYCH being held in Edinburgh in June 2010 and
  • designs for a new College tie and ladies scarf.

RCPSYCH November Newsletter

The November edition of the RCPSYCH newsletter is now available online and you can check it out here.  The newsletter includes College news, details of consultations, links to reports and new policy and practice.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists website has a student section that you might want to take a look at.  You’ll find everything you need to know about becoming a psychiatrist and what it’s like to be a psychiatrist in the student section.  There are also details of how to become a Student Associate of the College, it’s free to register and you can find out more about the benefits of membership here.