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January 2014
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

WPA Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section initiates “Leaders forum: the future of child and adolescent psychiatry” at ESCAP 2013

Prof. Bennett Leventhal, Prof. Norbert Skokauskas, A. Prof. Daniel Fung, Prof. R. Mindera, Prof. P. T. Joshi, Prof. O. Omigbodun, A. Prof. G. Harper 

ESCAP (European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) includes child and adolescent psychiatrist members from 32 countries. ESCAP’s biannual meeting is the main European meeting for child and adolescent psychiatrists and allied health professionals. ESCAP International Congress attracts not just child and adolescent psychiatrists but allied professionals from Europe and around the world. The 15th International Congress of ESCAP 2013 took place on 6-10 July 2013 in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. 

ESCAP 2013 hosted the “Leaders forum”: four leaders (and their teams) who represented the four most important child mental health organizations in the World and gave interesting presentations.   

The symposium was chaired by Prof. Rudd Mindera (ESCAP President) and Prof. Norbert Skokauskas (WPA CAP, Secretary). This was the second ESCAP symposium entitled “Future of child and adolescent psychiatry”. The first symposium was held in Helsinki, Finland (ESCAP 2011). The second symposium in Dublin attracted an even larger audience and was well received.   

Prof. R. Mindera’s presentation focused on “ESCAP Quality of Care”. Recently, special “care programs” have been designed for children with different types of problems, like ADHD, OCD, etc. The problem, however, is in the implementation of these protocols on a large scale in the different European countries, because of the differences in organization of care between countries, differences within and between care centers, and many other (financial) problems. A significantly positive outcome could result if, crossing the boundaries of countries, care centers could cooperate to share their protocols and practical experiences with these protocols in order to achieve more generally accepted evidence-based “care programs”. 

Prof. P. T. Joshi’s (President-Elect, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, or AACAP) presentation focused on the AACAP’s activities. The AACAP has approximately 8,700 members. The USA faces dire challenges, including a shrinking number of acute psychiatric beds for children and adolescents, a desperate lack of residential facilities, and insufficient outpatient treatment programs. But the current state of affairs extends beyond supply of providers and facilities. There is a stunning lack of understanding of mental illness in children and teens and a seeming lack of will to address this deficit as a nation. 

Prof. O. Omigbodun’s (President, International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions), A. Prof. D. Fung’s (Secretary General, International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions), and A. Prof. G. Harper’s (Treasurer, International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions) presentations identified key aspects in the strategic plan of IACAPAP and how these are helping to change the landscape of child and adolescent psychiatry and child and adolescent mental health, especially in resource-constrained regions of the world. 

Prof. B. Leventhal’s (Chair, WPA CAP) and Prof. N. Skokauskas’ presentation focused on WPA CAP activities and future goals.

  1. WPA CAP now has a representative assembly. While a nascent organization, this body is designed to include representatives of each WPA geographical region. The role of the Assembly:

a. Represent the interests of each region at the section level

b. Organize and coordinate CAP activities in each region

c. Be the focus of cross-regional collaborations

  1. “World Child and Adolescent Psychiatry” – Under the wonderful stewardship of Norbert Skokauskas and his editorial board, we have our own journal! Despite its modest beginnings, this is an important new voice for child and adolescent psychiatrists around the world. We are very proud of this beginning and look forward to your contributions so that we can expand the breadth and depth of our journal.
  2. Membership Database – We are now trying hard to develop a database of child and adolescent psychiatrists from around the world who wish to share in the activities of WPA CAP. Having a strong constituency with whom we can communicate on a regular basis will be important to our future. We will have strength in numbers and power in developing a strong voice on issues that are important to CAP. 
  3. One Voice, Many Messages – WPA CAP has organized programs under WPA CAP banner at many international meetings around the globe.
  4. International Research Training Seminar in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry – In collaboration with Foundation Child in Italy, we cosponsor the weeklong training seminar for junior colleagues committed. 

Norbert Skokauskas

Secretary, WPA Section on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Caption: A group of delegates who attended ESCAP 2013. From L to R: A. Prof. Daniel Fung (IACAPAP), Prof. Bennett Leventhal (WPA CAP), Prof. Paramjit Joshi (AACAP), Prof. Rudd Mindera (ESCAP), Prof. Norbert Skokauskas (WPA CAP), and A. Prof. Gordan Harper (IACAPAP).

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