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December 2013
Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK)

RCPsych hails anti-discrimination triumph

Over the last few years, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has worked with Members of House of Commons and House of Lords to steer the Mental Health (Discrimination) Act through Parliament. The original Bill, introduced independently to the government’s legislative programme, received Royal Assent on 28 February 2013 and is now law. The new Act will:

• remove the blanket ban that forbids “mentally disordered persons” that regularly attend for treatment from taking part in jury service

• amend legislation which states that a person might cease to be a director of a public or private company “by reason of their mental health”

• remove legislation under which an MP, or member of one of the UK devolved assemblies, automatically loses their seat if they are sectioned under the Mental Health Act for more than six months The College was involved in the campaign from the outset and secured widespread crossparty and government support for the legislation. It goes to the heart of the wider work that the College is doing on parity of esteem for mental and physical health. Discrimination on the grounds of mental health can be said to be one of the last forms of legalised discrimination and has no place in our society. As well as the practical changes that the Bill will bring about, it sends out a message that having a mental health problem is no bar to recoveryor involvement in wider civic society.

RCPsych president named one of UK’s 100 most powerful women

Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, has been named as one of the UK’s most powerful women. The Power List 2013 was drawn up by BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour programme, and announced to the public on 12 February.

Sue Bailey is a consultant child and adolescent forensic psychiatrist. She has worked in the field of child psychiatry for over thirty years and was elected President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2011. She was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 2002.

Vanessa Cameron, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “We are delighted that Sue was named in the BBC’s Power List, which is recognition for the extraordinary amount of work she has done for psychiatry and mental health both in our country and internationally”.

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