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Chilean congress a success in the face of social crisis

Updated: Feb 6, 2020

In mid-November 2019, the city of Puerto Varas in Chile played host to the LVXXIV Congress of Neurology Psychiatry and Neurosurgery (SONEPSYN). The event addressed the broad theme "from oral transmission to innovation in our day; women and science".

Responding swiftly to the civil unrest in Chile at that time (the country saw several weeks of protests focused on issues related to increased costs of living, inequality and privatisation) the Congress adjusted its program to focus on the issues surrounding inequality and its connection to mental health and violence.

"We were pleased that we could successfully coordinate and deliver most of the program and its changes, while also encouraging fruitful discussions on these topics and meeting with the city's residents " said Congress President, Dr Daniela Gómez. Dr Gómez, together with her colleagues Dr. Gloria Gramegna and Secretary General Dr. Maritza Boci led development of the strong scientific program.

During the meeting, four books highlighting "Approaches to the Psychosocial Challenges of Contemporary Women" were also unveiled with input from editors, Dr. Rosa Behar, Dr. Flora de la Barra and Dr. Graciela Rojas.

International guests included WPA President, Prof. Helen Herrman AO, as well as Dr. Marta Rondon (Perú), Dr. Silvia Gaviria (Colombia), Dr. Juana Poulisis (Argentina) and Fernando Fernández (España).

Following the Congress - and in response to the country's social unrest - a Declaration focused on Human Rights and its links to mental health was also released by organisers.

Author: Dra. Gloria Gramegna, SONEPSYN

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