The Royal College of Psychiatrists fended off competition from across the continent to be crowned Charity of the Year at the European Diversity Awards, recognised for "outstanding work in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion".

Inequality of outcomes for BAME patients has long been a glaring failing undermining the mental health care of many.

Black adults are least likely to have access to counselling, therapy or medication, but most likely to be detained for their mental health.

The College says it is close to trebling the amount of fellowships given to ethnic minority psychiatrists.

The College was commended for being "at the forefront of promoting equality on gender, race and sexuality. They have specifically addressed the equalities agenda in healthcare through analysing evidence, publishing guidance and ensuring its implementation of diversity and inclusion."

"They have actively campaigned for mental health funding to be equal to physical health care and been successful in achieving parity of esteem and funding. They have also tackled mental health stigma through their media work."

The College recently marked PRIDE and Black History Month for the first time in its history. Alongside International Women’s Day in March, both occasions are now to become permanent fixtures in the College’s calendar.


Paul Rees, CEO of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: "This award is an honour for the College and recognises the tireless work we have done to improve inclusion and diversity right across the College and to embed our College values in everything we do."

"We have nearly trebled the amount of fellowships given to ethnic minority psychiatrists, and our membership is now 36% BAME and 45% female."

"We will continue working to improve the lives of people with mental illness by ensuring mental health is valued the same as physical health, and that the services in which our 18,000 members work get the investment needed to deliver first-class treatment."

Other organisations vying to be Charity of the Year included the Stephen Lawrence Foundation, Blind Veterans UK and Include Me TOO, a UK charity supporting disabled children, young people and their families.

The ceremony, held at London’s Landmark Hotel last week, brought together charities, campaigners and community groups.

The judging panel comprised of representatives from: UnitedHealthcare Global, the British Army, EmployAbility, Societe Generale, and the worlds of television, sport, law and business.  

Image: Professor Wendy Burn is the outgoing President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.