Student Psychiatry Society 2022 overview
Student Psychiatry video

The UCT Student Psychiatry Society was started in 2015, by David Backwell. His goal was to integrate extra-curricular mental health opportunities into the Health Sciences Campus at UCT. This was inspired by the founding statement, to explore psychiatry as the point in medicine where humanities overlap with the sciences.

We believe that psychiatry sits at the forefront of medicine, with advances happening from a chemical level, to neuro-imaging and even the community aspect of mental health.  With this in mind, considering that many site the shortcomings of psychiatry to adequately explain the actual workings of the mind, we wish to emphasise opportunities that discard such opinions. We are motivated to provide opportunities for innovative 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 engaging and novel ways. This includes our film and psychiatry series, looking at how popular depictions of mental illness deviate or stay true to realities; exciting discussions from consultants around the lessons worth learning; and interesting insight into pertinent research being done within the field. We also wish to respond to societal issues around mental health, as well as linking mental health to neuroscientific, surgical and medical fields, through collaboration with other UCT societies.

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


Please get involved with us, be it:

-    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;

-    Or anything else that you believe may benefit Health Sciences students on their path towards better mental health.


We would much appreciate any help, advice or critique that we may receive.

Look forward to hearing from you: