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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness
History of Psychiatry

Welcome to the History of Psychiatry Special Interest Group (HoPSIG)

HoPSIG was launched at the College in March 2015.


HoPSIG was created to

  • encourage clinicians to research the history of psychiatry

  • improve our understanding of the subject and its value, including relating to current policy and practice

  • provide a forum for discussion.


Newsletter: News and notes

Upcoming Events

Workshops and Conferences


Whistle-blowers: Is it still 'Speak out, and get out'?

Please come to our session "Whistle-blowers: Is it still 'Speak out, and get out'?" at the RCPsych International Congress in Edinburgh, Tuesday 27th June 2017, 16.45-18.00.


British Society for the History of Medicine

Edinburgh Congress, 13-16 September 2017.


Newsletter Essay Prize - winners and runners up

HoPSIG Essay Prize

The inaugural HoPSIG Newsletter Essay Prize aimed to encourage psychiatric trainees and medical students to investigate and write about the history of psychiatry. Entrants were asked to submit an article suitable for publication in the newsletter (1000-1500 words). It could be a research project, essay, conference report, elective report or educational initiative.

We received ten high quality submissions on a wide range of topics. The judges thoroughly enjoyed reading all the entries, learnt much from them, and had a very tough time deciding on the winner and runners up.

Congratulations to:


Andrew Howe, ‘The creation of the padded room’

Runners up

Eilis Kempley, 'Drawing the boundary: mescaline hallucinations in artists'

Darren Bell, 'From gulags to psychiatric wards'


Read the next issues of News and Notes for their fascinating and informative accounts!

Your Research

Send your research queries and ideas to Claire Hilton
email: if you would like to see them posted here.

Other Announcements

Malcolm Kinnear (Murray Royal Hospital, Perth) sent the following information:

I am now Treasurer of the Scottish Society of the History of Medicine, SSHM, and would like to draw the group's attention to the fact that the SSHM has funds to support research in Scottish medical history (the Guthrie Trust) which can generate awards of up to £2000-£3000 for credible proposals. We would welcome applications. Further details are on SSHM website.

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