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January 2014
Serbian Psychiatric Association

Report from the Fifth Forum of the Institute of Mental Health and Serbian Psychiatric Association –“Comorbidity of Mental Health and Somatic Disorders”(imh.org.rs)

The V Forum of the Institute of Mental Health “Comorbidity of Mental and Somatic Disorders” was held on11-12 April 2013 at Serbian Academy of Sciences and ArtsinBelgrade, Serbia. The Forum was organized in coordination with the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Department for Medical Sciences of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and Serbian Psychiatric Association. The Forum celebrated the 50th anniversary of the IMH. Since its establishment in 1963, the Institute was an innovator of a number of mental health care initiatives such as community care and the multidimensional, biopsychosocial, person-centred treatment of patients which is the basis of its work. Because of the anniversary, the plaquet was given to honoured retired professionals and collaborators.

The theme of comorbidity was selected as a main topic because this issue is too often neglected in psychiatry as well as in somatic medicine. Screening for mental disorders in the offices of somatic doctors, and for somatic disorders in mental health services, should be “sine qua non” of modern medicine, requiring the creation of multidisciplinary teams.

The Forum was attended by 400 participants from all parts of the country. During the conference, 9 plenary lectures, 10 symposia, and one workshop were held. The lecturers were distinguished professionals, among them, six distinguished guests from abroad - Prof. Dr. George N. Christodoulou(University of Athens, Greece), Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Gaebel (Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany), Prof. Dr. Michel Botbol (University of Bretagne, France), Mirjana Trkulja (Hospital St. Louis, Paris, France),Dr Athanasios Alexandridis (Private Practice, Athens, Greece), Prof. Joseph Peuskens (Belgium), and six members of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts  (Dusica Lecic-Tosevski - neuropsychiatrist, director of the IMH;Vladimir Kostic– neurologist;Nebojsa Lalic– endocrinologist; Dragan Micic– endocrinologist;Predrag Pesko– surgeon; and Miodrag Ostojic - cardiologist).

During the Forum, for the first time in modern Serbian psychiatry, a new dialogue of priceless value for the patients and their doctors was established.This dialogue, between psychiatrists and specialists of somatic health, emphasises the need for developing multiperspective and multidisciplinary psychiatry, covering both mental and somatic “comorbidities”.

Dusica Lecic-Tosevski

President-Elect, Serbian Psychiatric Association

Director, Institute of Mental Health

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