Report calls for strengthening of academic psychiatry

March 29, 2013
Report calls for strengthening of academic psychiatry

(Medical Xpress)—Professors Shitij Kapur and Sir Simon Wessely, King's College London Institute of Psychiatry, are contributors to a major new report by the Academy of Medical Sciences - Strengthening academic psychiatry in the UK. The report calls for a breakdown of unhelpful boundaries between psychiatry and neuroscience and makes recommendations for strengthening academic psychiatry to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of mental ill health.

accounts for some 15 per cent of the disease burden in developed countries, yet spending on mental health research makes up just 5 per cent of the total UK health research budget. has been identified as a vulnerable discipline and the details the challenges and barriers to recruiting trainee academic psychiatrists and considers how to equip with the knowledge and skills required to meet healthcare needs.

Professor Sir Simon Wessely said, 'It is a very exciting time for clinical neuroscience, which is certain to have a positive impact on our understanding of mental disorders. Like neurology 100 years ago we are at a turning point and psychiatry is a hot speciality for the next generation. We are world class in this country in academic mental health and , but to continue to attract the best and brightest we need to focus on enhancing psychiatry's image and enthusing students; build capacity to nurture career development and work to ensure training is flexible and trainees have access to all relevant disciplines.

'We need to work to reverse the perception that psychiatry is isolated from the rest of medicine, and at the same time address common misunderstandings – such as that psychiatry is not sufficiently scientific, that our patients don't get better and our treatments don't work. None of these are true. But what is true is that psychiatry has a bright future, and psychiatrists are happier and more satisfied in their work than colleagues in other areas of medicine. Unless we get the message across what an exciting specialism psychiatry is and make these changes to training and capacity, it will have negative repercussions for the future of research, and in turn impact on the profession, and finally those unlucky enough to suffer from mental disorders.'

The report found that medical students are often unaware of the opportunities presented by psychiatry and the clinical neurosciences, as well as their close connections to a wide range of other disciplines, including paediatrics, care of the elderly, endocrinology and immunology. It highlights a need to increase research capacity and innovation, build support for multidisciplinary research groups and enhance clinical and research training for trainee psychiatrists. The report recommends that a critical mass of researchers working in psychiatric care will strengthen research into mental ill health and work to optimise care for future patients.

The report also recommends that academic psychiatry should work closely with the National Health Service (NHS) to conduct large-scale studies to improve our understanding of mental ill health and its treatment, and with industry to develop novel therapies.

Explore further: Experts say psychiatry's diagnostic manual needs overhaul

More information: Anacker C., et al (2013) Glucocorticoid-related molecular signalling pathways regulating hippocampal neurogenesis. Neuropsychopharmacology doi:10.1038/npp.2012.253

Related Stories

Experts say psychiatry's diagnostic manual needs overhaul

May 16, 2012
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), long the master reference work in psychiatry, is seriously flawed and needs radical change from its current "field guide" form, according to an essay by two ...

Breaking the cycle: Studies show improving mental health status helps improve financial status

October 16, 2011
The first paper in The Lancet Series on Global Mental Health reviews the negative cycle of interaction between mental ill health and poverty in low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC). A review of published work shows ...

Psychiatrists failing to adequately monitor patients for metabolic side-effects of prescribed drugs

August 10, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- New research from the University of Leicester demonstrates that psychiatrists are not offering adequate checks for metabolic complications that are common in patients with mental ill health - especially ...

Less than half of youth with mental illness received adequate follow-up care, study finds

November 19, 2012
Youth with mental illness are among the most vulnerable, but new research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has found that less than half of Ontario youth aged 15 to 19 hospitalized with a psychiatric ...

Recommended for you

Talking to yourself can help you control stressful emotions

July 26, 2017
The simple act of silently talking to yourself in the third person during stressful times may help you control emotions without any additional mental effort than what you would use for first-person self-talk – the way people ...

Heart rate study tests emotional impact of Shakespeare

July 26, 2017
In a world where on-screen violence has become commonplace, Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company is turning to science to discover whether the playwright can still make our hearts race more than 400 years on.

Do all people experience similar near-death-experiences?

July 26, 2017
No one really knows what happens when we die, but many people have stories to tell about what they experienced while being close to death. People who have had a near-death-experience usually report very rich and detailed ...

Risk for bipolar disorder associated with faster aging

July 26, 2017
New King's College London research suggests that people with a family history of bipolar disorder may 'age' more rapidly than those without a history of the disease.

Visual clues we use during walking and when we use them

July 25, 2017
(Medical Xpress)—A trio of researchers with the University of Texas and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has discovered which phase of visual information processing during human walking is used most to guide the feet accurately. ...

Toddlers begin learning rules of reading, writing at very early age, study finds

July 25, 2017
Even the proudest of parents may struggle to find some semblance of meaning behind the seemingly random mish-mash of letters that often emerge from a toddler's first scribbled and scrawled attempts at putting words on paper.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.