Call for Papers for Charles Hughes Fellowship and John Spiegel Fellowship SSPC Annual Meeting Providence, Rhode Island, April 23-25, 2015

Call for Papers for Charles Hughes Fellowship and John Spiegel Fellowship SSPC Annual Meeting Providence, Rhode Island, April 23-25, 2015

Paper Submission Deadline: September 15, 2014

Culture and Global Mental Health

The theme of the annual meeting is Culture and Global Mental Health. We are particularly interested in submissions based on clinical activities, teaching, and research that address the relationship between cultural psychiatry and global mental health, including issues pertaining to mutual contributions, challenges, and collaborations. The deadline for fellowship paper submission is September 15, 2014. Trainees in clinical and social sciences are invited to submit papers for consideration for the Charles Hughes and John Spiegel Fellowships. Fellowships cover meeting registration costs and a $500 award for travel and other expenses.

The Charles Hughes Fellowship is an annual award presented to a graduate student who has an interest in and commitment to cultural psychiatry and mental health. Graduate students in anthropology, public health, psychology, and related disciplines are encouraged to apply.

The John Spiegel Fellowship is an annual award presented to a medical student, resident, or fellow in clinical training who is dedicated to improving clinical care through culturally-informed practice.

Trainees in these fields who are interested in competing for these fellowships should submit the materials listed below by September 15, 2014.

  1. Cover page: A cover page should include the following information:
    • Identifying information (name, affiliation, contact information) of applicant
    • Title of paper
    • Abstract, composed of three parts
    • 2-3 learning objectives
    • Narrative abstract, up to 200 words
    • 1-3 related references
  2. Unpublished scholarly paper: An original unpublished scholarly paper on a topic related to Culture and Global Mental Health. Key conference themes for culture andglobal mental health are listed below. Papers are limited to 8,000 words inclusive of abstract, references, and tables. The applicant must be the first author on the paper. Additional authors can be included. Affiliation and contact information should be included for any additional authors.
  3. Biosketch: A 200-word biographical sketch describing your professional training and activities related to culture and global mental health.
  4. Statement of Professional Committment: A 250-word statement about your interests and potential committment to the mission of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, and your vision for contribution to the organization.
  5. CV: Your curriculum vitae.

The recipients of the Charles Hughes and John Spiegel Fellowships will present their papers in a plenary session at the annual meeting in Providence on April 23-25, 2014. Recipients of the fellowships have all registration fees waived. An honorarium of $500 is provided to help defer travel, lodging, and related costs.

Please email all materials to Brandon Kohrt,

Conference Core Areas

The conference will center on five core areas, as well as cross-cutting issues in culture and global mental health. Papers submitted for consideration should address one or more of these areas, based on clinical, teaching, or research work  conducted by the applicant.

  1. Origins and transformations of knowledge and practice in global mental health
    This core area incorporates epistemology and ontology in global mental health. How is knowledge generated, how are concepts defined, and which individuals and institutions have the power to define concepts in global mental health? What values influence and are reflected in global mental health priorities and praxis? What roles and power do mental health service users, other persons living with mental illness, families, and communities have in influencing global mental health activities? How do epistemology, ontology, and value systems influence what is measured and counted in global mental health through epidemiology, health economics, and other aspects deemed worthy of counting? Ultimately, how does knowledge move between the local and the global?
  2. Human rights, ethics, politics, and policy
    Building upon issues related to values and powers influencing global mental health, this area explores how ethical, political, and rights-based documents and doctrines influence global mental health. How do international policies, programs, and institutions (e.g., United Nations’ bodies, the World Health Organization, humanitarian organizations) frame human rights, and how is this reflected at local and national levels? How do ethical guidelines for clinical care, training, and research (or lack thereof) influence global mental health practice?
  3. Social determinants of mental health and health care
    This theme traces how social and economic conditions and forces inform both mental health problems and mental health services. How do globalization, poverty, international development, health industry priorities, and political economy inform both problems and solutions in driving mental health problems and mental health practice?
  4. Intervention development and cultural adaptation
    How are interventions selected, developed, and tested in global mental health? What constitutes an evidence base for selecting interventions? What is the process for cultural adaptation, and how are cultural adaptations unique (or not) compared to other types of adaptations? How do indigenous or local interventions, systems of medicine and sources of resilience fit with the aims of global mental health?
  5. Scaling-up, implementation, and knowledge dissemination
    How do interventions and practices go from proof-of-concept to large-scale implementation? What and who are the powers that determine worthiness for scaling up and what benchmarks do they use? How is care implemented in a collaborative framework with other stakeholders ranging from primary care workers to partnerships with advocacy groups, mental health service users, families, and communities? How do objectives of cultural specificity and scalability impact one another?

In addition, there are cross-cutting issues that may play a part in each of the above:

  • Knowledge transfer between and among low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and high-income countries (HIC)
    How are knowledge and lessons learned transferred from high to low-resource settings and vice-versa? How is knowledge transferred among low-resource settings, e.g. South-South collaborations?
  • Technologies
    This includes the use of guidelines (e.g., mhGAP, DSM, IASC guidelines), digital technologies (e.g., mobile phones, internet-based communication platforms), and biotechnologies?
  • Stigma
    Stigma influences activities and programs from the level of clinician-patient interactions to policy-making and implementation.
  • Populations and predicaments
    For each of the areas, the specific populations should be defined. For example, are program beneficiaries defined by specific disorders, risk factors, or other context or health-related factors?

Recommendations for Paper Submissions

Papers submitted for consideration will be peer reviewed. Papers are judged on the following criteria:

  1. Original contribution of the trainee – The paper should represent activities conducted by the applicant. Firsthand research, training, or clinical activities are required. This may include conducting interviews, ethnographic
    research, intervention implementation, clinical work, or other related activities. Papers with only secondary data analysis (either quantitative or qualitative) are not eligible for the fellowships.
  2. Research or clinical question and contribution to the field – The research or clinical question should be grounded in the literature on global mental health and culture. The question should be novel and have implications for future research, training, and/or practice. The results of this study should be interpreted in light of the history of culture and mental health research, training, and clinical work. Other areas that will have a contribution to the field such as capacity building for beneficiary communities, providers in cross-cultural settings, and advocacy groups could also be reflected in this score.
  3. Ethical conduct – All research projects should include details on IRB approval from the applicant’s home institution as well as IRB approval from the country where research was conducted if the research was carried out outside the United States. Papers that do not have information on appropriate IRB approval will not be considered for review. For clinical cases, IRB approval is not required, but appropriate anonymization practices should be observed
    in documentation.
  4. Methods/analysis – Projects demonstrating high levels of participation in design, implementation, and interpretation with the beneficiary community will be prioritized. Rigorous methods and analysis using best practices in qualitative or quantitative research in culture and mental health are recommended.
  • For qualitative methods – what type of theory was used for coding and theory building (e.g., grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, content analysis, etc.); was the selection of participants appropriate for a qualitative study; for ethnographic studies, how was participant observation incorporated into the design, etc.?
  • For quantitative studies – were culturally validated instruments used or was there a cultural validation as part of the study; was the sample representative with regard to recruitment and target population; were statistical analyses appropriate for this study design, etc.?

See the Call for Papers for instructions for preparing learning objectives and narrative abstract.

Help us stay organized!

As the organization grows in size and complexity it becomes increasingly more important for us to stay organized, especially since we are such a geographically diverse group. For that reason we are asking you to please use the box only for dues and meeting submissions. All other communications should be addressed to the individuals for whom they are intended at their individual email addresses. names and email addresses are listed below. If you want someone else’s address, please contact me.

President – Steven Wolin
Past President – Jim Boehnlein
Vice President and Program Committee Co-chair – Roberto Lewis-Fernandez
Program Committee Co-chair – Brandon Kohrt
Secretary/Membership Chair – Francis Lu
Treasurer – Dan Savin
Education and Training Co-Chairs – Jim Griffith and Kenneth Fung
Newsletter Editor – Shannon Suo
Executive Director – Liz Kramer
Finance – Ramaswamy Viswanathan
Research – Albert Yeung
Membership, Communications, and Marketing – Connie Cummings, Renato Alarcon and Artha Gillis

From the Desk of the Executive Director

Time passes quickly when you’re having fun. It’s hard to believe that our 2014 annual meeting is just 3 months away! This issue of the newsletter is devoted to the meeting. We hope that those of you who already have registered will share it with your colleagues and friends in the hope that we can entice others to come. Nearly 100 people already have registered, but we’ve still got room for more thanks to the wonderful facilities at the Joan Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. The program, which can be found on pages 6 and 8-11, promises to be one
of the most exciting ever!

Starting this year we are going to be having exhibits on the first two days of the meeting. As of this writing, they will include Professional Risk Management Associates (PRMS), our first corporate sponsor, the Office of Minority and National Affairs (OMNA) of the American Psychiatric Association, and the Foundation for Psychocultural Research. We are continuing to recruit exhibitors and corporate sponsors, so if you know someone who may be interested, please have them contact me or send me their contact information and I will get in touch with them. Please visit our exhibitors during the meeting and tell them how much we appreciate their support.

Hopefully most of you noticed that we have not raised the conference fee for three years now. We may be one of the last groups that provides most meals. This year that will include a full-fledged reception, with meat, pasta, vegetables, and cheese. There will be a cash bar with beer, wine and soft drinks. Food costs are our biggest expense, they increase annually, and there always is a lot that goes uneaten. You can help us to contain those costs. How, you ask?

About 2-3 weeks before the meeting we will be sending out a short survey to everyone who has registered for the meeting. We hope each of you will complete and return it with dispatch. The survey will ask you to mark which days you will be attending sessions and be present for lunch, and whether or not you will be attending the reception. Historically we have always had a great deal of food left and many vacancies at the lunch table. We realize things come up that cause changes of plans but we can save a lot of money if we give the caterers accurate head counts. There will be a place on the questionnaire for you to note any allergies, special dietary requests and whether you have any other special needs. Please let us know then. It will pay off in the long run.

Finally, if you have not yet made your hotel reservations, there are a few rooms left in the SSPC block at the Fairfield Inn in Old Town. The price is $139.00 per night plus tax, single or double occupancy, including breakfast. To book your room, please call their sales department at (619) 725-4223, identify yourself as attending the SSPC meeting. If you call off hours or there is no answer leave a message with your name and phone number and your call will be returned. If you encounter any difficulties, please contact me immediately.

Regarding transportation, the hotel operates a free airport shuttle which runs from 5 am to 12 noon and again from 3 pm to 9 pm. To access the shuttle call the hotel at (619) 299-7400, tell them you have landed and the airline on which you arrived. Then wait outside of your airline. We will be providing tram service to the Kroc Center each morning, but if you still want to drive parking at the hotel is $8.00 per 24 hour day with in and out privileges.

As always, my door is open and except during power outages my phone is turned on. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. If I don’t hear from you sooner I look forward to welcoming all of you to San Diego on May 15.

Visit San Diego, the birthplace of California!

Visit San Diego, the birthplace of California!

Pandas-San Diego Zoo-Winter 2014

Pandas, San Diego Zoo website

Kayaking-Winter 2014

Kayaking, website

Old Town Trolley-Winter 2014

Old Town Trolley website


by Jim Jaranson

SSPC welcomes you to San Diego, “America’s Finest City,” for the annual meeting May 15-17, 2014. This the first time in its 35-year history that SSPC has met in San Diego, California’s second largest city and the country’s eighth largest with 1.3 million residents. Reputed to have the best climate of any US city, San Diego has some of the country’s best beaches. The city is wedged between the Pacific Ocean on the west; Tijuana Mexico, 15 miles south; the Cuyamaca mountains in the east; and, protecting it from merging into LA two hours north, Camp Pendleton’s 17 miles of coastline.

Known for its navy and marine population, accounting for 18% of the economy, San Diego has become much more diverse with biotech, healthcare, tourism, and international trade. Balboa Park, whose 1200 acres house the world-famous zoo, is the cultural heart of the city with the Old Globe Theatre, an incubator for Broadway, and 13 museums, the most in a single location outside of the Smithsonian. The San Diego Opera and the Symphony, as well as the Old Globe and the La Jolla Playhouse, are highly acclaimed and have dispelled the notion that San Diego has little to offer culturally. The city also houses three major universities, the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in the La Jolla neighborhood, San Diego State University (SDSU) to the east, and the University of San Diego (USD). USD’s Institute of Peace and Justice, on a hill overlooking the nearby Pacific, will provide the meeting’s venue. Most attendees will stay at hotels in historic Old Town, the oldest settlement in and the birthplace of California. Tourists can take a harbor cruise or purchase a ticket for the Old Town Trolley, which allows on and off access to points of interest in San Diego and Coronado. A shuttle will regularly take attendees to the meetings at USD, and public transportation from the Old Town transit center provides bus and San Diego Trolley service to most tourist attractions.

Southern California is one of five areas in the world with a “Mediterranean” climate and averages ten inches of rain annually, nearly all in the winter. The year round temperature in San Diego is 70 degrees F, with little variation from day to night or winter to summer. Average high in May is 69 and low is 60. However, the marine layer of clouds and fog, “May gray”, may persist into the day and necessitate wearing a light jacket. With its spectacular setting, comfortable temperature, and major attractions, San Diego offers SSPC members a unique experience.

Call for Nominations for SSPC Awards

Each year the Society presents two important awards for significant achievements by individuals who conduct advanced work in the field of cultural psychiatry. These are:

  • The Lifetime Achievement Award: This is to be presented annually to a person who has made outstanding and enduring contributions to the field of cultural psychiatry, and is the highest honor bestowed by the Society.
  • The Creative Scholarship Award: This is to be presented annually to a person who has made a recent significant creative contribution to the field of cultural psychiatry.

Awardees receive a plaque with certificate of award at the SSPC annual meeting.

Please take time to seriously consider nominees for each of these prestigious awards. Links to the nominations forms can be found here: Lifetime Achievement Award and Creative Scholarship Award and you can download and save from there. Instructions for sending the nominations are on the nomination forms.

Please note that the deadline for the nominations is March 31, 2014. Nominations received after this date will not be considered.

Thank you in advance for your time and efforts toward recognizing these important people in the field of cultural psychiatry!