Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Crises and Disasters occur very frequently in our world. Some of them are natural, others are human-made. The former as a rule cannot be prevented but we can certainly prevent or limit their psychosocial consequences. The latter are by definition preventable although in practice they are very seldom prevented (just think of war conflicts and other situations associated with human aggression). Economic crises are included within the latter category. Their impact is serious. Suicide, homicide, exacerbation of psychopathology and especially depression have been reported in previous economic crises and are verified and repeated as a consequence of the present world financial crisis. This crisis has hit every country but its impact has been (and still is) very serious in the countries of Southern Europe, including the host country of the Congress that we have the privilege to announce to you to-day.
Financial crises (as well as other crises for that matter) have a greater impact on vulnerable groups. One of these groups is the group of consumers, persons with mental disorders. Advocacy and protection of this group of vulnerable persons is sine qua non under the present adverse conditions and we hope that our congress will serve this scope.
Our Congress is organized by the World Federation for Mental Health in collaboration with the Hellenic Psychiatric Association and the Society of Preventive Psychiatry. It will be held in Athens, Greece from 6 to 9 March 2013 at the Royal Olympic Hotel, situated centrally in Athens, just opposite the columns of the Olympian Zeus with a breath-taking view of the Acropolis and the Lykabetus Hill and a few steps from the Plaka region and the spectacular Acropolis museum. The main topic of the Congress is “Crises and Disasters: Psychosocial consequences” but submission of papers on other topics within the area of the behavioral sciences are also welcome.
We look forward to welcoming you all to Athens. We will do our best to offer you an interesting scientific program and to make you feel at home.
With best regards
Prof. John Giouzepas
President, Hellenic Psychiatric Association
President, World Federation for Mental Health
Prof. George Christodoulou
President-elect, World Federation for Mental Health
Chair, Organizing Committee
Assoc. Prof. Dimitris Ploumpidis
Vice-president, Hellenic Psychiatric Association
Co-chair, Organizing Committee
Message of the President of the Society of Preventive Psychiatry
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
The Hellenic Psychiatric Association in collaboration with the World Federation for Mental Health is organizing an important International Congress on the Psychosocial Consequences of Disasters, from 6 to 9 March 2013 in Athens, Greece.
The Society of Preventive Psychiatry has been invited to co-organize this event and we have agreed taking into account the consistency and the credibility of the above two organizations as well as the important topic of the meeting.
Disasters occur everywhere in the world and they are caused by a variety of causes, from the Tsunami in SE Asia and the earthquakes in a variety of regions including Greece and Turkey to the disasters that continue to occur in recent years due to the economic crisis. Economic crises can have very serious consequences. They do not occur in the abrupt, direct and dramatic way in which natural and human-made disasters do but they have similar potentially catastrophic consequences. The association of unemployment resulting from an economic crisis with suicide is one of the strongest ones.
We have decided to select this topic as the main theme of our congress because of its relevance to current financial developments in the world and especially in Europe and more so in the host country.
All the other disasters, natural and man-made, will also be reviewed under the light of a quickly changing world. The pace, the pattern and even the direction of this change is sometimes difficult to follow and exchange of ideas on this crucial issue would be most welcome.
With warm personal regards and looking forward to seeing all of you in Athens in March 2013
Prof George Christodoulou
President, Society of Preventive Psychiatry
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
As President of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), it is my distinct pleasure and honor to invite you to attend the WPA Co-Sponsored World Congress that will take place in Athens, Greece, on March 6-9, 2013.
This excellent Congress is organized as a joint effort of the World Federation for Mental Health, the Hellenic Psychiatric Association, the Society of Preventive Psychiatry and the WPA. The main theme of this scientific event is “Crises and Disasters: Psychosocial Consequences”. This topic is very important and significant now-a-days due to the major economic crisis that are currently affecting many regions of the world.
You can find information about this very important International Congress by visiting www.psychcongress2013.gr. In essence, not only does this WPA Co-Sponsored International Congress offer a unique opportunity to learn about this very crucial topic, but it will also offer the opportunity to meet colleagues from many parts and regions of the world.
Pedro Ruiz, M.D.
WPA President (2011-2014)
On behalf of the Psychiatric Association for Eastern Europe and the Balkans I would like to warmly welcome you to the International Congress of the World Federation for Mental Health in Athens, 6-9 March, 2013.
The 2013 Congress is being held under the motto “Crises and Disasters: Psychosocial consequences” and will highlight various aspects of this topic. It’s difficult to overestimate the significance of these issues for the current situations in the world, especially in our region. Eastern European and the Balkan countries face a great amount of problems concerning the major changes that have occurred in politics, economics, the social sphere as well as in human minds. Our mutual professional efforts are concentrating on improving the mental health services for good treating practice, organizing recovery oriented systems of care, preventing suicides, violence and conflicts, fighting against stigma and providing assistance for the preservation of the human rights of patients.
We’ll discuss the urgent challenges still present for the near and distant future of mental health under the diversity of the stress conditions. You will find many answers to the actual questions in the numerous lectures and symposia at this Congress. So we kindly appeal to you to join us in this promising and fascinating forum. I wish all congress participants a lot of energy, fresh ideas and stimulating exchange of experience.
Prof. Valery Krasnov
Psychiatric Association for Eastern Europe and the Balkans
The timing of the Congress organised in March 2013 by the World Federation for Mental Health, the Hellenic Psychiatric Association and the Society for Preventive Psychiatry is very appropriate. The world is faced by a variety of natural and human-made disasters and crises of every sort, including the economic crises that threaten the well-being and mental health of the people of Europe, particularly those of southern Europe. Consequently, mental health professionals must be prepared to prevent and manage the psychosocial consequences of these crises and disasters. This preparation is based on the provision of knowledge, development of dexterities and adoption of appropriate attitudes. Such is the aim of this congress that the European Psychiatric Association (EPA) has the honor of co-sponsoring.
The European Psychiatric Association has a long tradition of involvement in the management of the psychosocial consequences of crises and is very happy to contribute scientifically to the Congress. Additionally, since the economic crisis is currently present in a great part of Europe, the EPA, the largest international association of psychiatrists in Europe, feels that it is our responsibility to contribute.
We wish the organisers and the Congress President, Prof. George Christodoulou - a prominent member of the EPA, a great success. The European Psychiatric Association will do its best to contribute to the Congress and will grasp the opportunity for further collaboration with the World Federation for Mental Health, the Hellenic Psychiatric Association and the Society of Preventive Psychiatry in the fulfillment of a common cause – service to the people of Europe who suffer from psychiatric disorders especially during periods of psychosocial stress like the one experienced presently in Europe and in the world.
|Professor Patrice Boyer
President of the European Psychiatric Association
||Professor Danuta Wasserman
President Elect of the European Psychiatric Association
Dear friends and colleagues,
This is the one appeal that I send to friends and colleagues. Please take one moment to reflect on the blessing of good mental health…and one more to reflect on the suffering of an episodic or persistent mental illness that may beset a friend or family member. I am proud to serve on the board of directors for the World Federation for Mental Health, and I am forwarding this appeal to you to consider supporting this important international organization with a gift this holiday season.
For over 64 years the World Federation for Mental Health has promoted its vision of a world in which mental health is a priority for all people and mental disorders receive better care. Public education is our primary objective and we know there is still much work to be done. Please help us continue our mission in 2013 by supporting the WFMH.
Our challenges have been great this year but we are proud of what we have accomplished, even with diminished resources. This year we were active in the following ways:
We organized another World Mental Health Day around the theme “Depression: A Global Crisis” to draw attention to the widespread prevalence of this illness and the various treatment options available. It was a very successful campaign - receiving over 80,000 downloads from our website (www.wfmh.org); 500,000 on Facebook and thousands of others through community efforts in more than 28 countries reported so far. World Mental Health Day is our main grassroots outreach campaign to educate the public about a different issue each year. This year was the 20th anniversary of the first World Mental Health Day.
We have a representative in Geneva to contribute to and monitor the development of a Global Mental Health Action Plan by the World Health Organization.
We continued our Great Push for Mental Health campaign, which 500 organizations have joined online. Together we are now developing a “People’s Charter for Mental Health” as a reference guide to the views of civil society to inform the Global Mental Health Action Plan.
And we co-sponsored the Seventh World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention of Mental and Behavioral Disorders which took place in Perth, Australia in October 2012.
As we look towards the next year we want to confirm with you our commitment to continue working on grassroots advocacy, global policies and general education material. However, we need your support to carry out these projects. Here are some things we are working on for 2013:
We will be organizing the 2013 public education campaign for World Mental Health Day (10 October) on “Mental Health and Older Adults”. Demographic changes and longer life spans are resulting in a high proportion of older adults in the populations of many countries. This will create new demands on public health resources and challenges that national governments, local authorities and families must all begin to address.
We are working to update and reissue our Schizophrenia and Young Adults material and to begin a multi-year project on global mental health association research and development.
In August we will convene the WFMH biennial Global Mental Health Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, an opportunity for the exchange of information among the Federation’s members. We are also co-organizing with the Hellenic Psychiatric Association an International Congress from 6 to 9 March 2013 in Athens, Greece (www.psychcongress2013.gr) and another one in Japan in March on stigma and discrimination.
And most importantly we will continue to contribute to and monitor the development of the World Health Organization’s Global Mental Health Action Plan. We will work on our Great Push for Mental Health campaign, and circulate a first draft of the “People’s Charter for Mental Health.” We will also begin the push for the first ever Special Session on Mental Health at the United Nations – as a result of the new Mental Health Action Plan.
With your support, we can remain committed to working on grassroots advocacy, public education and trying to sway governments to make mental health a priority in their health policies. Your donation of any amount, large or small, will help us to move forward in 2013.
If you are able to help, please go to the following links to donate to WFMH or use the attached form to mail or fax your tax deductible contribution:
WFMH NETWORK FOR GOOD ACCOUNT -
WFMH PAYPAL DONATION PAGE -
Thank you for your interest and support!
World Federation for Mental Health