Richard Marshall (1956–2018)

An appreciation.

Richard Marshall was a popular and well-respected consultant clinical psychologist in the North East of England. Sadly, he succumbed to cancer on 2 January 2018. Those who knew him remember him for his free-spirited approach to life, his warmth and compassion, his interests in archaeology and fine wine and food, and his tireless willingness to help colleagues and trainees give of their professional best. He brought enthusiasm, wide knowledge and a warm heart to his work.

One of five children of a doctor and a psychiatrist, Richard moved south to qualify through the North West Thames training in 1986. Starting his career in psychiatric rehabilitation in Hertfordshire, and later in South West Durham, he responded creatively to the demands of resettling long-stay residents.

Whilst working with GPs and their patients in North Durham, foot-and-mouth disease struck the UK, creating a severe crisis for the local farming and business communities and risks of despair and suicide. It was Richard’s initiative to reach out to them with self-help leaflets and signposting to supportive services. He took a lively interest in promoting high standards of care. He provided teaching and training through the Newcastle University DClinPsy course and set up the popular North East Trauma and Expert Witness special interest groups. In 2003 he set up his own independent practice through which he provided reports for the Family and Criminal Courts (in which he enjoyed presenting his evidence in person). Freed of the obligations of routine employment, he used his experience to help under-staffed NHS departments to reduce or clear their waiting lists. With his colleague Graham Dyson he was amongst the first to provide workshops and supervision for applied psychologists starting their own independent practices. With colleagues he set up Psychology Partnerships CIC to provide consultancy services and staff development workshops to local public sector organisations and charities. He enjoyed sharing psychology and became a go-to commentator on mental health issues for local TV stations, appearing nationally to provide a psychological perspective on the local fugitive killer Raoul Moat.

Towards the end of his life Richard fulfilled his dream of developing a local farm and living the good life, with chickens, a pond, a snail farm and various flora and fauna. There seemed very little to which he could not turn his hand to make a success of it. He is greatly missed.

He is survived by Paul and Jonathan, his sons from his first marriage, and his wife Lisa.

Bernard Kat
Newcastle upon Tyne    

Stephanie Hill
Sunderland

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