Mental Health Foundation CEO awarded Royal College of Psychiatrists' President's Medal

21st Jun 2022
Influencing policies

The Mental Health Foundation’s Chief Executive, Mark Rowland, has been awarded the President’s Medal by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Presented in a ceremony in Edinburgh on 20 June 2022, it is the first time that the Mental Health Foundation’s work has been recognised with this prestigious award.

The President’s Medal recipients are chosen each year by the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and approved by the College’s Nominations Committee. The Medal is designed to honour and offer the College’s gratitude to a small number of deserving people who have contributed to policy, public knowledge, education and meeting population and patient care needs in diverse and challenging circumstances.  The awards celebrate people in all walks of life who have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to improving the lives of people with, and at risk of, mental ill health. 

Mark Rowland said: “It is a huge honour to receive the President’s Medal from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and I am delighted that the Foundation’s work in the prevention of poor mental health is being recognised as a critical part of addressing the mental health emergency.  As we emerge from the pandemic and face the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis, our work to understand and tackle the root causes of poor mental health is vital.   

Mark Rowland receiving the President's Medal from the Royal College of Psychiatrists

“I am very grateful for the nomination from the College and accept this award on behalf of my fantastic colleagues at the Mental Health Foundation who have worked with such distinction, and our supporters who enable our work to happen. This award acknowledges and celebrates our team’s achievements in asking better questions and finding better answers to how we protect and support our mental health.’     

The Mental Health Foundation works to prevent mental health problems.

We drive change towards a mentally healthy society through our research, policy and community programmes supporting communities, families and individuals to live mentally healthier lives, with a particular focus on those at greatest risk.  The Foundation is also the home of Mental Health Awareness Week, an annual campaign that shines a light on mental health, opens up conversations, and puts the issue on the national agenda.   

Key work for the Foundation in recent years has been its groundbreaking research, starting in March 2020, on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health.  This work continued for two years allowing the charity to track its effects, identify people at highest risk, and understand what support is needed.  From this, the Covid Response Programme was born – a £3 million initiative across the UK working with various partners to provide practical mental health support to the groups of people who were most adversely impacted by the pandemic.  

Mark Rowland added: “Prevention of poor mental health is an emerging and increasing priority for both policymakers and practitioners.  We commend the Royal College of Psychiatrists for its investment and commitment to the implementation of evidence-based interventions to prevent and treat mental disorders, prevent associated impacts, and promote mental wellbeing and resilience, with its new Public Mental Health Implementation Centre.   

“With this increased focus on prevention across the mental health sector, we are encouraged by the opportunity we have to address inequalities and influence the social, economic, cultural and health sector changes we need to see across the UK to ensure people are supported to live mentally healthy lives.”  

Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “We’re delighted to have presented Mark Rowland with our President’s Medal.  

“The Mental Health Foundation do extremely important work on behalf of patients and the mental health agenda in Scotland, as a whole. This award is extremely well deserved.” 


Notes to editors 

About the Mental Health Foundation  

  • Our vision is of good mental health for all.  
  • The Mental Health Foundation works to prevent mental health problems.  
  • We drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all, and support communities, families and individuals to lead mentally healthy lives with a particular focus on those at greatest risk.  
  • The Foundation is the home of Mental Health Awareness Week. 

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