SHSC supports future psychiatrists at national medical student conference

Helen Crimlisk, deputy medical director at Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC), opened the National Student Psychiatry Conference, held at the University of Sheffield.

The conference ‘Me, Myself and I’ - which took place on 13 and 14 January 2024 - was organised and hosted by the University of Sheffield medical student group “PsychSoc”. Attendees explored the intersection of the ‘self’ and ‘other’ with contributions from several speakers, looking at lived experience and disability.

Medical students from all over the UK attended the conference and listened to a range of talks and lectures from SHSC trainees and psychiatrists. Staff from SHSC who presented included Dr Dasal Abayaratne, speaking on climate crisis and Dr Reem Abed and Dr Gurpreet Kaler, speaking on nutritional psychiatry. 

International experts spoke about current developments in psychiatry, with eminent speakers such as Professor Peter Tyrer on the Importance of Personality, Professor David Nutt on Psychedelic Psychiatry, Dr Rania Awaad on Islamic views of Personality and Professor Nick Kanas on Space Psychiatry. Helen thanked Sheffield PsychSoc for their dynamic programme and excellent organsiation.

Talking about the conference, Dr Helen Crimlisk said: “In my capacity as Associate Director of Teaching at Sheffield School of Medicine I get to meet many of our medical and physician associate students. The course helps them to understand how important it is to learn about how to think about patients in a holistic way, recognising that physical and mental ill health, trauma and disability often go hand in hand. We know that our patients are stigmatised within society and that students and trainees interested in psychiatry can feel and be marginalised. Sheffield PsychSoc have been key players in reducing this stigma, working with students to promote a holistic approach to medicine, mental health awareness across the curriculum and promoting psychiatry as a career.”

Helen Crimlisk, Deputy Medical Director at SHSC speaks to students

Dr Crimlisk also thanked colleagues from the Royal College of Psychiatry for their support reflecting on the success of their “Choose Psychiatry” campaign. They offer a thriving Student Associate Programme and nationally and locally, training places in psychiatry are now being filled at 100%. This puts the profession in a good position to make an argument for increasing the numbers in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.

We’re also pleased to share that two members of Team SHSC have recently been recognised by peers in the Trent Division of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The Trent Division covers Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire and the Humber.

Congratulations to Dr Louise Egan, a Specialist Doctor working in acute mental health, for her nomination for a Hall of Fame award. The aim of the nominations is to recognise and appreciate staff for their contribution towards psychiatry in the region. Dr Egan is also SHSC’s SAS advocate.

And congratulations to Dr Rob Heminway, joint winner of ST4-6 trainee and specialty grade doctors 2023 poster presentation. Rob is a higher trainee working in South Yorkshire. His quality improvement project explored whether the criteria for detention under the Mental Health Act were being clearly documented and scrutinised. There is important learning from this which SHSC will be taking forward.