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Professional News
WPA to Hold Congress In Japan in August
Psychiatric News
Volume 37 Number 11 page 8-8

For a few days in August, the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) is expected to draw 10,000 people to the busy hub of Yokohama, Japan. Though from many cultures and backgrounds, attendees of the XII World Congress of Psychiatry stand together on one front—the improvement of mental health around the world.

More than 500 sessions are planned for the August 24 to 29 meeting, which will likely attract psychiatrists, mental health professionals, intergovernmental representatives, advocates, and consumers from more than 100 countries.

The WPA holds the World Congress every three years in a different country. The theme of this year’s meeting is "Partnerships for Mental Health."

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World Psychiatric Association President-elect Ahmed Okasha, M.D., Ph.D., will assume the WPA’s presidency at the World Congress in Japan.

"The congress’s theme clarifies the necessity to integrate advances in neurosciences, social sciences, and psychological sciences for the welfare of patients with the participation of all segments of society concerned with mental health," WPA President-elect Ahmed Okasha, M.D., Ph.D., told Psychiatric News. Okasha will become president of the WPA at the World Congress.

WPA Secretary General Juan E. Mezzich, M.D., Ph.D., pointed out that the World Congress has much to offer American psychiatrists. He told Psychiatric News that both WPA President Juan Lopez-Ibor, M.D., Ph.D., and immediate past APA President Richard Harding, M.D., have encouraged American psychiatrists and international medical graduates to attend the World Congress and the meetings of other psychiatric associations held in conjunction with it.

"This is a special opportunity for psychiatrists to make connections with colleagues in their ancestral lands or countries of origin," said Mezzich.

Mezzich also pointed out that many APA members who serve on APA components will find many sessions at the World Congress relevant to their areas of interest. For example, members of APA’s Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning—or any psychiatrist interested in education—can learn about new educational models on an international level by attending sessions held by the WPA’s section on Education in Psychiatry and the WPA program on Core Curriculum for Psychiatric Training.

He added that early career psychiatrists (ECPs) from America will enjoy the sessions created by and for ECPs. "These sessions will give young psychiatrists from the U.S. the opportunity to learn from and share ideas with their peers from around the world," he said. The special track for ECPs will feature a brief update presented in one particular area of psychiatry, such as social psychiatry or psychotherapy, followed by a number of workshops on different aspects of the topic.

Mezzich is chair of the program on fellowship and young participants, and has been involved in organizing the sessions by and for ECPs.

In addition, members of the WPA’s 54 scientific sections will meet in Yokohama to discuss a range of issues related to biological psychiatry, social psychiatry, diagnosis and epidemiology, psychotherapy, and public health. Attendees will also find a large selection of sessions on cultural and ethical issues in psychiatry.

The governing bodies of the WPA, such as the General Assembly, Executive Committee and WPA Council, and WPA zonal representatives will also meet during the World Congress. The issues that WPA leaders will discuss include triennial strategic plans and ethical standards.

They also determine the schedule and content of future meetings. Apart from the World Congress, the WPA holds annual international and quarterly regional meetings. The next WPA regional meeting will be held in Peru in October. The XIII World Congress of Psychiatry will be held in Cairo in 2005.

This year’s World Congress will also serve as a venue for meetings of other psychiatric organizations, such as those in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Some of them will meet for the first time at this year’s World Congress, Mezzich said.

There will also be a number of opportunities for those attending the World Congress to learn about Japanese culture and tradition at the meeting. For instance, there will be a Japanese tea ceremony and a summer festival, or natsu-matsuri. On the last day of the meeting, there will be a "sayonara party" with a ceremonial dance performed to pay respect to one’s ancestors.

Travel packages start at $1,588 from New York and $1,390 from Los Angeles. They include roundtrip airfare to New Tokyo International Airport and a six-night stay at the Sakuragicho Washington Hotel or the Isezakicho Washington Hotel in Yokohama. Transfer to and from the airport by bus is provided. More information about travel packages can be obtained by contacting the JTP Corporation by phone at 81-3-5796-5445 or by e-mail at wpa2002@itd.jtb.co.jp.

The registration fee for American psychiatrists is $450 (not included in the travel packages). The deadline for registration is July 1. More information about registration and general information about the XII World Congress of Psychiatry is posted on the Web at http://wpa2002yokohama.org/.

Anchor for JumpAnchor for Jump

World Psychiatric Association President-elect Ahmed Okasha, M.D., Ph.D., will assume the WPA’s presidency at the World Congress in Japan.

"The congress’s theme clarifies the necessity to integrate advances in neurosciences, social sciences, and psychological sciences for the welfare of patients with the participation of all segments of society concerned with mental health," WPA President-elect Ahmed Okasha, M.D., Ph.D., told Psychiatric News. Okasha will become president of the WPA at the World Congress.

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