Colleagues and Friends
On behalf of the South African Society of Psychiatrists, it is my greatest honour to invite you to the World Psychiatry Association International Congress that is to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 18 to 20 November 2016.
From at least 1652, Cape Town, as a venue, has been able to attract visitors from all over the world. At some stage during the era of the Dutch East India Company, it was used by the sailors from Europe to India as a refreshment station. Today Cape Town is a beautiful city characterised by Table Mountain, Robben Island and its population that is representative of the South African Rainbow Nation.
Underlying the history and beauty of Cape Town though, are the current struggles faced by our people, which are also remnants of the past dark Apartheid era that existed in South Africa, such as achieving social cohesion, establishing human rights, sustaining economic growth, battling with multiple burdens of disease and a range of mental health and substance abuse problems, accessing mental health and psychiatric services, as well as migration to and rapid urbanisation of cities.
Time has come for Psychiatry to engage in a social contract with the people of South Africa, as well as with people in countries across the world in line with the theme of the 2016 Congress, which is “Psychiatry: Integrative Care for the Community”.
I hope that, in 2016, you will also experience Cape Town as the refreshment station that it has been, as you continue in your endeavours to engage with and express Psychiatry’s responsibility and accountability in your communities.
I would like to also take this opportunity to thank Professor Dinesh Bhugra and the World Psychiatry Association for the opportunity they have given to the South African Society of Psychiatrists, to host the 2016 Congress.
I am looking forward to welcoming and interacting with you in Cape Town.
Dr Mvuyiso Talatala
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