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President Welcomes Participants to the 22nd WPA World Congress of Psychiatry

WPA President's Opening Message and Annual Review

Today is a special and long-awaited day, as today, I am delighted to open our first in-person Congress in two years! On behalf of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), the Psychiatric Association of Thailand (supported by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Thailand & Department of Mental Health, Thailand) and the Organising and Scientific Committees, we would like to officially offer everyone a very warm welcome to the 22nd WPA World Congress of Psychiatry (WCP22).

We are excited to open the doors to many fellow mental health care professionals in the beautiful city of Bangkok. Our theme for this week is “Psychiatry 2022: The need for empathy and action” and over the next 4 days, we will examine and discuss all the crucial issues in psychiatry and mental health. With over than 2370 registered participants from 100 different countries, 207 Sessions, 600 speakers, 73 Symposia and 980 ePosters, we will all be able to benefit from up-to-date research data, the best lectures from experts in all fields of mental health, high-quality scientific content, high-value interactions between mental health & social care professionals, patients and careers, and relevant peer-to-peer networking.

In addition, for the first time this Congress, WPA Collaborating Centre Group and WPA Working Group on Medical Students were delighted to offer Medical Students and Psychiatric Trainees Travel Awards to join us in Bangkok. Scarlett Machado, (Psychiatry Resident, Mental Health Institute of Jalisco, Zapopan, Mexico) was presented with the award by the WPA Collaborating Centre Group, and Daniyaal Taheri (Seth GS Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India) and Jolly Thomas (University of Ibadan College of Medicine, Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria) were granted the awards by WPA Working Group on Medical Students. You can read the full story here.

As we kick off our annual Congress, I feel it is a good point to take the time to reflect on what we have all achieved since our last congress (WCP21), review the events that have occurred and share our achievements. I would start by paying tribute to my close colleague and dear friend, Professor Petr V. Morozov following his sudden and unexpected passing last month. As WPA’s General Secretary, it came as a great shock and huge sadness to me, his family, friends, colleagues and members of the psychiatric fraternity, all over the world. During this difficult time, we offer our sincere condolences not only to his colleagues, but especially to his family and friends for whom we recognise this great loss.

Unfortunately, the people of Ukraine are still in the middle of a terrible war with Russia. WPA continues to express our profound concern and support for the people of Ukraine and for our dear colleagues in the WPA Ukrainian psychiatric associations. Like most of the people of the world, as the conflict continues to escalate, we are deeply worried about the wellbeing of Ukrainians during this conflict, and the consequences of war. As a consequence, our Advisory Committee for Responses to Emergencies (ACRE) sub-committee, which was set up at the beginning of the invasion, has carried out the following activities:

  • Prof. Danuta Wasserman (WPA President Elect) established collaboration with other professional organisations and neighbouring country member societies for preparing further humanitarian activities. This has included:

  1. Calling for donations in order to supply medications in Ukraine. This can be done either by using the “Donate Now” button or via a bank transfer on our web page here. WPA has donated an initial $2000 for this cause and we are still collecting donations.

  2. Establishing a trauma resource centre on the WPA website. We are continuing to add resources to this page as and when we receive them.