As the year moves on apace and we enter a new season I am pleased to look back at the last two months with a sense of pride, and to the coming months with a sense of excitement.
In August we hosted a very successful 19th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry in the beautiful city of Lisbon. Together with our local partners and WPA member society, the Portuguese Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health, we welcomed over 4000 participants from right across the globe to the Lisbon Congress Centre. The feedback we’ve received on the scientific program, speakers and social events has been overwhelmingly positive. I am in no doubt that the professional organisation by our planning and scientific committees, together with our congress organising partner, Kenes, were key to the event’s success.
In addition to the high calibre of invited speakers who presented plenaries, panels and innovative session formats, we also had a wonderfully varied program of quality symposia from both experienced and early career psychiatrists. The growing gender and geographic diversity of the invited speakers – a feature of the new meetings policy this triennium – was widely appreciated in Lisbon as in our congresses last year. Insights from persons with lived experience and from other professions and organisations rounded out the diverse schedule.
I was also delighted to see so many of you take advantage of the courses we had available at the beginning of the Congress. In an effort to further your professional learning, more than 600 of you paid to attend sessions on topics such as how to write a scientific paper and get it published, psychopharmacotherapy in pregnancy, and suicide prevention. I am especially grateful to those who gave their time to prepare and present the courses on these and other topics.
Of course, there is always room for improvement as we build such events, and we were pleased to receive candid feedback on how we can create an even more successful program at our next Congress. As a result of your recommendations, we’ll be bringing back “Meet the Expert” roundtables, shortening the length of individual sessions so that we can include even more variety in the program, and focusing further on how we can make sessions even more interactive and engaging at future meetings.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge those early career psychiatrists who received fellowships to attend the Congress. Once again we were overwhelmed by the outstanding calibre of applications and, once again, we found it a challenge to select the final recipients. I would like to offer my hearty congratulations to all who were awarded and to provide encouragement to those who weren’t – there will be an opportunity to apply again next year!
Which brings me nicely to the 2020 WPA World Congress of Psychiatry in Bangkok, Thailand.
Planning is now very much underway for the event – the 20th meeting of this kind for WPA and an opportunity to celebrate 70 years since our association’s formation. In addition to our usual congress scientific program, we will also host the triennial General Assembly and present the triennial Jean Delay Prize. The prize is one of the most prestigious in psychiatry and is made possible thanks to the generous support of Servier. Nominations are open until 31 December 2019 and you can find out more about it here. The Geneva Prize for Human Rights in Psychiatry will also be presented at the Congress. Find out more about how you can apply here.
Looking ahead, I am also pleased to share news of some of our forthcoming meetings and projects, as well as draw your attention to the endeavours of some of our members, sections and educational partners.
WPA 2020 Regional Congress, St Petersburg
WPA, in partnership with our valued member society, the Russian Psychiatric Association invites you to save-the-date for WPA’s Regional Congress in Saint Petersburg, Russia 5-7 May 2020. Whether you are a psychiatrist or other mental health professional, policy maker or service user, this is an event you won’t want to miss! Read more
International Congress in Spirituality and Psychiatry
The WPA section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry looks forward to welcoming participants to Jerusalem, 1-4 December 2019 to discuss how psychiatry can help to sensibly, effectively and practically integrate Spirituality/Religion into mental health care and public policies. Read more
19th Congress of the WPA Epidemiology & Public Health Section
Large epidemiological studies of psychiatric disorders historically were conducted in a handful of high-income countries; fortunately, however, the breadth and depth of research in epidemiology across the globe is rapidly expanding. Join the WPA Section on Epidemiology & Public Health to explore how we can learn from diversity across the world and what the implications are for psychiatric epidemiology. Read more
Publications & Reading
An International Perspective on Disasters and Children’s Mental Health
Edited by valued WPA contributors, Christina Hoven and Lawrence Amsel as well as WPA’s Ethics Committee Chairperson, Sam Tyano, WPA’s newest publication: An International Perspective on Disasters and Children’s Mental Health is a considered, thoughtful and timely addition to the WPA book series: Integrating Psychiatry and Primary Care. Read more
Roundtable with Fountain House and WHO Guidelines
WHO Guidelines on Management of Physical Health Conditions in Adults with Severe Mental Disorders were discussed during a broader roundtable with Fountain House New York at the 2019 WPA World Congress of Psychiatry in Lisbon. WPA has committed to promote the use of these guidelines and I hope you may review and disseminate them among your members and colleagues. Read more
Share Your Thoughts
The International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) recently convened an international working group to select outcome measures for anxiety and depression in youth. They are now in the process of consulting experts and opinion leaders through a simple online survey and would greatly appreciate your input. Open until 18 October, we encourage you to share the survey with your members and to complete it yourself. We are excited that WPA’s uniquely global expertise could help inform this important project.
Professor Helen Herrman AO