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Tuesday 18 July 2006
Dr Kwame McKenzie reports from the annual meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Resolution on interrogation of detainees
A hot topic at this year's meeting was to pass a resolution concerning psychiatrists involved in interrogation.
There is a long history of dubious ethical practice in the use of psychological knowledge and expertise. The CIA was built by the Psyche-warriors - psychiatrists and psychologists who worked with the US army in the Second World War and developed the psychological black arts that the organisation is so known for. There are currently worries about the role of psychiatrists in the interrogation of prisoners in the UK and in Guantanamo bay. So much so, that the American Psychiatric Association felt it had to act. They decided unanimously that a psychiatrist could play no part.
The British Royal College of Psychiatrists, lead by the president Prof Sheila Hollins, took this cue to clarify their own position - hence the resolution at the annual general meeting. They were helped by Dr Stephen Sharfstein, the immediate past president of American Psychiatric Association.
The new Scottish Mental Health Act In Scotland , the laws that govern the treatment of patients against their will underwent a radical shake-up last year. While in England and Wales ideas for a new mental health act were dropped. Instead there will be a handful of amendments to the existing act. Most people involved in mental health believe that the English laws are out of date and need fundamental reform, some believe that following the new Scottish mental health act may be a way forward. Because of this, they are keen to know how it is working one year on and a session at the conference has been out aside to discuss this. Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Tony Zigmond is the Royal College of Psychiatrist's lead on mental health act reform in England and Wales , Dr Alison Blair, is chair of the public affairs committee of the Scottish Division of College and Graham Morgan was involved in the implementation of the Scottish Act. He is a service user who has been treated against his will and who has experience of the change in practice that was heralded by the Scottish Act.
Is football good for your mental health?
Everyone would agree that playing sport is good for your mental health. But what about watching sport? And more particularly what about football? Football is one of the most watched sports in the UK . Over 5 million people attended a football match last year and over 20 million people will watch a game. With the new football season only a couple of weeks away - and as Kwame is an avid football fan - he was interested to find out from Alan Pringle whether being a football fan was good for your mental health?