The South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP) is hosting a World Psychiatric Association (WPA) International Congress during November 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. The congress will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from the 18th to 22th November 2016. The congress presidents will be the current WPA’s President-Elect, Dinesh Bhugra, and the current President-Elect of the SASOP, Mvuyiso Talatala.
With the recent death of Nelson Mandela in December 2013, there was a fairly general realization in South Africa, and elsewhere, that reconciliation, transformation and integration of our communities and of our clinical practice, have not been completed or, in some instances, not even undertaken yet. The theme of this congress will therefore be “Psychiatry: Integrative Care for the Community” and will explore concepts, controversies and consequences of Psychiatry’s responsibility and accountability to society in terms of its scope of practice and of what can be considered as Psychiatry’s social contract. 1
The congress will consider how to integrate the developing scope of current psychiatric practice with emphasis on illness prevention, health promotion, clinical care, as well as rehabilitative interventions over the course of people’s life time. The congress will deliberate on the expanding systems required for all four dimensions of care to be integrated, including: Psychiatry’s core neuroscience content and evidence-base for clinical care (biological); established psychotherapeutic process (psychological) and active social involvement (social); undertaken within particular cultural, religious and spiritual contexts (spiritual).
In the process, the question of what aspects of psychiatric care and practice require further integration will be posed to member associations and delegates from the 18 different WPA Zones, as well as to the more than 65 different Sections focusing on different interests within the WPA. Concurrent local interactive community events, such as exhibitions and music productions, as well as communication forums and awareness programs are being planned in Cape Town and in other parts of South Africa in the months leading up to the congress.
During the next two and a half years, interactive discussions amongst members and delegates on related congress topics will be pursued and encouraged through the use of available social media and electronic communication. Key contributions and regular updates to the process will be made available on this website including on issues such as: new developments in neuroscience and psychopharmacology; delivery systems for rural and urban mental health; human rights and ethics; practice treatment guidelines; as well as incorporating measures for outcomes assessment.
On behalf of the SASOP and the WPA, we cordially invite you to reserve this date on the 2016 calendar, to actively participate in the process, and to prepare for your attendance and presentation on your specific local practice, or area of interest, at this important meeting.
Bernard Janse van Rensburg,
Chair: Local Organizing Committee
1 “Transformation also includes reconciliation and creating a nation united in the rich diversity of communities
previously forced apart.” Nelson Mandela. State of the Nation Address, SA Parliament; 10 February 1999.
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