Professor Sir Simon Wessely Regius Professor of Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry (IoP), King’s College London. (KCL)
Simon Wessely studied medicine and history of art at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and finished his medical training at University College Oxford, graduating in 1981. He obtained his medical membership in Newcastle, before moving to London to train in psychiatry at the Maudsley. He has a Master’s and Doctorate in epidemiology. He is consultant liaison psychiatrist at King’s College Hospital, Civilian Consultant Advisor in Psychiatry to the British Army since 2001,and a Foundation Senior Investigator of the National Institute for Health Research. In 1995 he founded the Gulf War Illness Research Unit, which became the King’s Centre for Military Health Research. Its flagship project is a large-scale ongoing study of the health and wellbeing of the UK Armed Forces, has had a direct impact on public policy and on forms of treatment and help for serving and ex serving personnel.
Professor Wessely has over 800 original publications, with a particular emphasis on the boundaries of medicine and psychiatry, unexplained symptoms and syndromes, military health, population reactions to adversity, and epidemiology, He is active in public engagement activities, speaking regularly on radio, TV and at literary and science festivals. He is a trustee of Combat Stress and his contributions to veterans’ charities include cycling (slowly) eight times to Paris to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.
In 2012 he was awarded the first Nature “John Maddox Prize” for Standing Up for Science, and was knighted in 2013 for services to Psychological Medicine and Military Health. He was President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists between 2014 and 2017, and is now President of the Royal Society of Medicine. He became the country’s first Regius Chair of Psychiatry in 2017. Between 2017 and 2018 he led the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act at the request of the PM
His favourite occupation though remains arguing in cafes