On 25 September 2010, the Armenian and Georgian Psychiatric Associations held a meeting in Tbilisi, Georgia. The Armenian attendees were Armen Soghoyan, President of the Armenian Psychiatric Association (ArPA) and WPA Zonal Representative, Armen Melik-Pashayan, ArPA Secretary for Education, Vahan Simonyan, ArPA Secretary for Reforms, Aram Hovsepyan, ArPA Technical Secretary and Arthur Potosyan, Secretary General of the Armenian Medical Association. The meeting was hosted by Georgy Geliyshvili, President of the Georgian Psychiatric Association, Archil Begiashvili, Board Member of the Georgian Society of Psychiatrists and Manana Sharashidze, President of Coalition for Mental Health.
Collaborative and integration plans of the professional organizations were discussed. Further collaboration is planned in scientific areas, meeting organization, and professional publications. Also, Georgian psychiatrists expressed their interest in participating in the WPA Regional Meeting "Mental Health in a Changing World", which will take place on 14-17 April 2011 in Yerevan, Armenia. Georgian colleagues suggested hosting the next professional WPA Meeting in Georgia in 2012 or 2013.
Prof. Driss Moussaoui, President-Elect of the World Association of Social Psychiatry and WPA Zone Representative for Zone 11, held a meeting with mental health patients and family members NGO at the Yerevan Psychiatric Medical Center’s First Episode Department on 21 June 2010. Dr. Armen Soghoyan, President of the Armenian Psychiatric Association (ArPA) and WPA Zone Representative for Zone 10, Dr. Daniel Gerald, Vice President of Sanofi-Aventis, Dr. Vahan Simonyan, Head of First Episode Department as well as psychologists, social workers and lawyers were present. Prof. Moussaoui in his speech shared his experience on educational programs for mental patients and their family members and presented information about recent psychopharmacological researches. Questions of stigmatization and discrimination and human rights of mental health patients, as well as course of their hospitalization were discussed.
During his visit to Yerevan on 22 June 2010 at “Seda Ghazaryan’s Memory” Foundation, Prof. Driss Moussaoui held a seminar in social psychiatry for young psychiatrists. The Armenian Psychiatric Association was represented by Dr. Armen Soghoyan, ArPA President and Dr. Aram Hovsepyan, ArPA technical secretary. Seminar participants were young psychiatrists and psychologists. In his presentation Prof. Moussaoui described the association of social, ethnical, cultural and religious factors with mental health. The Seminar was followed by active discussions.
The Caucasian Regional Training - Workshop “Physical and Mental/Psychological Consequences of Torture. Principles of Documentation and Reporting according to the Istanbul Protocol, Treatment and Rehabilitation”
The Caucasian Regional Training - Workshop “Physical and Mental/Psychological Consequences of Torture. Principles of Documentation and Reporting according to the Istanbul Protocol, Treatment and Rehabilitation” was held on September 23-25, 2010 in Tbilisi, Georgia. This training - workshop was held in the framework of the Georgian Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torture (RCT) “EMPATHY”'s project “Strengthening the System of Rehabilitation for Torture Victims in Georgia”.
Co–organizers and partners were Penal Reform International (PRI) and Georgian Medical Association. The Armenian Psychiatric Association and Azerbaijan Medical Association were actively involved in the preparations of this training.
The training was supported by the European Union, UNVFVT and IRCT (International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (Denmark, Copenhagen).
During the training - workshop on international standards of documentation and reporting of torture (Istanbul Protocol), as well as principles of multi-faced rehabilitation for victims of torture, 27 medical experts and 19 legal experts from Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia were trained. All participants received Certificates of Participation.
Finally, the following plans and recommendations were elaborated during this training - workshop:
1. Creation of the Caucasian network against torture with coordination of legal and medical organizations, especially National medical and psychiatric professional associations with involvement of International organizations such as IRCT, PRI and others.
2. Increasing the role of psychiatric/psychological evaluation during the forensic expertise of victims of torture.
3. Organization of the special symposium during the upcoming Regional Congress of WPA, to be held in Yerevan in 2011.
4. Increasing the role and activity of the WPA Section on Psychological Consequences of Torture and Persecution in the region of South Caucasus.
WPA Zonal Representative for Zone 10 (Eastern Europe)