Dear Colleagues and Dear Friends
Firstly my apologies for the delay in getting the WPA Newsletter to you. Since the elections in Madrid the new team have been working hard to get to grips with the changes at a number of levels.
I am truly honoured and humbled to take this role on. This is a perfect opportunity to thank my predecessors for their input and efforts into making the organisation what it is. Following the publication of the WPA Action Plan 2014-2017 published in the October issue of World Psychiatry, it is worth recalling that the General assembly in Madrid approved this programme which aims to highlight the Public Mental Health Agenda. Five parallel themes have been identified-these include : domestic gender-based inert-personal violence; child sexual, physical and emotional abuse; prisoner mental health care; mental health care of underserved groups such as elderly, LGBT, those with intellectual disabilities, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers and lastly mental health promotion for all. Although these five streams are vertical they also form horizontal basis and for each of these Presidential task Force will be appointed. In fact of all these 5 Taskforces have already been appointed and work has started. The aim is to launch reports at International conferences. If any individual or group wish to take part in this please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat.
For the first time ever, the World Economic Forum has appointed a Global Agenda Council on Mental Health and this gives me a unique opportunity to work with a number of key stakeholders to develop and deliver the agenda on mental health. WPA is working very closely with the WHO to develop and deliver mental health agenda. I was invited to speak at H20 Health Summit in Melbourne as a prelude to the G20 summit in Brisbane and I strongly believe that around the globe we are reaching a point where mental health is being taken seriously and we all have a role to play and once again I would strongly urge you to contact your policymakers making sure that often it is other stakeholders such as Ministers for Education, Economy or Employment who may be more interested in getting families back to work.
The WPA website is under renovation and reconstruction with an attempt to make it more interactive and user-friendly. I have also established a Presidential Task Force to develop social media presence for the organisation. I am determined to get more early career psychiatrists involved in various committees and activities of the WPA.
The new EC has had two meetings since the election and we are all keen to work together to provide added value to you-the member organisations of the WPA at a number of levels.
I look forward to keeping in touch with you and please do get in touch if you have bright ideas to share or have difficulties requiring help.
WORLD PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION