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INCREDIBLE WORK: Kings Langley resident awarded MBE for impressive mental health work

 Published on: 21st January 2022   |   By: Jake Levison   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Kings Langley resident has been awarded an MBE by the Queen for services to mental health, and to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Paul Rees, 52, chief executive of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), working with senior psychiatrists, has led the modernisation of the organisation and its switch to being a virtual organisation at the start of the first lockdown.

The college works closely with the NHS to provide guidance and support to mental health services across the UK, on how to keep delivering high-quality services during the pandemic.

As chief executive, Paul has led the roll out of a proactive approach to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion at the college and across mental health services.

This approach has inspired a range of other UK medical royal colleges to take a similar stand on the equalities’ agenda.

At the RCPsych itself, the gender pay gap among its 340 staff has been reduced to 6.2 per cent, down from 17 per cent two years ago, and the organisation has changed a number of its policies following a new partnership with Stonewall.

The college has also published guidance showing that racism can be a key driver of mental illness among people who are black, Asian and minority ethnic.

Paul said: “It’s a real privilege and an honour to receive an MBE. When I received a letter saying that the Prime Minister wanted to recommend my name to the Queen for an honour, I couldn’t quite believe it.

“Since then, I’ve had letters of congratulations from Prince Charles, the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and the Leader of Hertfordshire County Council, which has been fantastic.

“I can’t wait to take my wife, Sue, to Buckingham Palace, to receive the award, as she has been my biggest supporter and my rock throughout my career – and I could never have achieved any of this without her.”

Prior to joining the RCPsych in 2016, Paul was a director at the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Earlier in his career, Paul ran a number of high-profile campaigns including the right to roam, which led to the government giving people a legal right to walk on mountain, moor, heath, down and common land in England and Wales, through the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000.

Photo credit: Grainge Photography 



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