College statement on racism

08 July 2020

The recent and widespread public expressions of concern and solidarity about persistent and institutional prejudice, racism and discrimination have resonated strongly with many in our communities.

As leaders in mental health care, and the medical community, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) calls for the equitable treatment of people of all communities not only when seeking and receiving medical care but in their daily lives. We, as a medical college, are committed to improving the lives of all people across our communities, especially those most vulnerable to and directly affected by racism.

We have an important role to play in contributing to the reduction of inequality in mental health outcomes for all, but in particular between Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori peoples by preparing and supporting our psychiatrists to provide culturally safe psychiatric care as well as continuing to advocate for equality within our communities and combat the issue of institutional racism.

The RANZCP is committed to working to reduce the mental health inequalities in our society. This commitment is shown through our everyday practices, beginning with our training program, and is included in our advocacy and direct action the RANZCP is undertaking to encourage and support more Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori medical students and doctors on their journey to become psychiatrists.

The RANZCP encourages and supports cultural diversity within our membership, staff, and patients through advocating and promoting equity in care, as well as training, sensitive to the diverse range of cultural and religious beliefs.

It is a basic human right to be treated justly, fairly and without discrimination regardless of race, religion, gender or age and we strongly support and advocate for all individuals to be treated ethically and equitably.

The College will continue to embody culturally safe practices and care for all patients, work with vulnerable communities to reduce mental health inequities, and advocate for the right of all people to be treated justly, ethically and without discrimination.

As psychiatrists, we are required to respect the humanity, dignity and autonomy of all patients, and seek to cultivate and maintain the highest ethical standards to ensure every person, regardless of culture, ethnicity, language and religion, is respected and valued.

For more RANZCP resources:

ENQUIRIES: For more information, or to arrange an interview call Sarah Carr on +61 437 315 911, or email

For all other expert mental health information, visit Your Health in Mind, the RANZCP’s consumer health information website.