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20 March 2024

Professor Dame Til Wykes and Emeritus Professor Thomas Jamieson-Craig receive prestigious Schizophrenia International Research Society awards

The Schizophrenia International Research Society (SIRS) has announced Professor Dame Til Wykes as winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award and Emeritus Professor Thomas Jamieson-Craig (Tom Craig) as winner of the President’s Award.

Til Wykes Tom Craig SIRS awards 2024

Professor Dame Til Wykes receives SIRS Lifetime Achievement Award

Dame Til Wykes is a Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation and Head of the School of Mental Health & Psychological Sciences at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London. She is also a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. She has developed, tested and implemented novel treatments for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Dame Til championed Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) by founding the renowned Service User Research Enterprise (SURE) which employs people with lived experience of using mental health services. Her influence has been recognised by the British Psychological Society (2014), a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDTM for the Largest Mental Health Lesson, a Damehood from the Queen (2016), an International Neuropsychological Society Lifetime Achievement Award (2022) and by the EPA for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in Working to Improve Mental Health Care in Europe.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is SIRS’ most prestigious award. It recognises Dame Til’s significant contributions to the advancement of the field of schizophrenia research.

I am delighted to receive the SIRS Lifetime Achievement Award, but it is certainly a daunting award to have – I hope this is as celebration of my past work and is no barrier to a contribution in the future. There is lots more to be done!

Professor Dame Til Wykes

Professor Tom Craig receives the SIRS President's Award

Tom Craig is Emeritus Professor of Social Psychiatry at the IoPPN. He was Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust for over 25 years, and President of the World Association of Social Psychiatry (2013-2016). Throughout his career, Professor Craig has made exceptional contributions to health service development and evaluations, with specialism in developing psychosocial interventions for psychosis.

In 1990, he became the first Professor of Community Psychiatry in the UK, appointed at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital. He spearheaded the closure of Tooting Bec hospital asylum and championed the development of community services, for which he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rehabilitation and Social Psychiatry Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He also led the establishment and evaluation of the Lambeth Early Onset (LEO) psychosis service, which revolutionised the treatment approach for individuals experiencing psychosis in South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. He led outreach services targeting specially deprived populations, such as the homeless mentally ill, aiming to bridge the critical gaps in accessibility to mental healthcare. More recently, he co-led the development and evaluation of AVATAR therapy, an innovative digital therapy designed to alleviate distressing voices in individuals with psychosis.

The President’s award is awarded annually by the president of SIRS, who selects a member of the society who has dedicated her/his career to bettering the lives of people with schizophrenia and has made multiple outstanding contributions toward advancing and facilitating our understanding of the condition in a pioneering and collaborative way. This year, current President, Merete Nordentoft, selected Emeritus Professor Craig as winner of the President’s award 2024.

I am deeply honoured to receive the SIRS President’s Award. My career has been dedicated to tackling the profound impact that adverse environments and relationships have on the development, progression and eventual outcome of severe mental illness. From the way we engage with our patients to the design of the services we provide, there is immense potential to mitigate adversity and foster healing. This award reaffirms the importance of our collective efforts in addressing the challenges faced by those facing mental health difficulties.

Emeritus Professor Tom Craig

The awards will be presented to Dame Til and Professor Craig at the SIRS 2024 Annual Congress in Florence, Italy on 3-7 April 2024.

For more information, please contact Milly Remmington (School of Mental Health & Psychological Sciences Communications Manager).

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Til Wykes

Head of School for Mental Health & Psychological Sciences