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Student psychiatry society

The UCT Student Psychiatry Society was started in 2015. It emerged onto the health sciences campus when there was an absence of extracurricular mental health opportunities. The founding statement of the society is 'to explore psychiatry as the point in medicine where the humanities overlap with the sciences.' It sits at the forefront of medicine, with advances happening from a chemical level, to neuro-imaging and even to how communities affect mental health.

Many cite the shortcomings of psychiatry to adequately explain the actual workings of the mind. For us, this emphasises the opportunities for innovate work, patient-centred research and new approaches needed to push the frontiers of knowledge. And in the gap between expanding knowledge and current clinical or real-life interactions, Da Sylva's words come to mind: "to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always'. 

We host events that put knowledge across in engage and novel ways. This includes our film and psychiatry series, looking at how popular depictions of mental illness deviate or stay true to realities; discussions from consultants around the lessons worth learning; and further afield work like the history of gender, sexuality and psychiatry. We wish to respond to societal issues around mental health, with the Life Esidimeni tragedy highlighting the back seat of psychiatric patients in our country.

Beyond the talks and projects and events, if we could achieve just one goal it would be further bringing mental health into the common discourse in health sciences.

If you would like to get involved with us, we are always looking for:

  • Researchers wanting students to work on their projects, or researchers wanting to share their work;
  • Interesting speakers or educators willing to speak at events;
  • Novel approaches and ideas;
  • The narratives of health care workers
  • Assistance in outreach projects.

If you wish to help us in any way, or to get some more information, please get in touch!