President’s Message

Dear Members and Friends,

I hope everyone is having a good summer and looking forward to a productive fall. SSPC is growing, and the Board and committees are working hard on new projects as well as planning for the annual meeting in 2013. Here is a summary of our accomplishments since May:

A new dues schedule was approved at the annual SSPC Board meeting. Beginning January 2013 the annual dues for MDS will be $175.00; retired and early (<5yrs) career physicians will pay $100.00; psychologists, nurses, social workers $75.00; residents and other trainees 50.00. Dues will be assessed on an annual calendar basis.  New members joining after July 1 of any given year will be considered paid in full for the following year. A dues form is available at www.psychiatryandculture.org.

Individuals wanting to receive CME credit for attending the meeting will be required to pre-register for the credits and will incur a $25.00 processing fee for the certification. We will continue to issue non-CME certificates of attendance to all other attendees who request them at no additional cost. However, all continuing education paperwork must be completed during the meeting.

Changes were approved for Executive Committee and Board membership. Beginning immediately, all Board members will serve one three year term, with an option for a second term; four members will rotate off the board every year and 4 new members will join the Board each year – two to be elected by the membership, two to be appointed by the executive committee; the Board will include at least one member-in-training, and at least one non-physician; the election of new Board members will occur prior to the executive committee appointments. Finally, a group of international advisers will be invited by the president to participate in Board discussions, although not as voting members.

The 2012-13 Executive Committee currently has 9 members (6 officers plus the chairs and co-chairs of three committees). They are listed on the last page of the newsletter with e-mail addresses.

The SSPC Board currently consists of 14 members, the 9 members of the Executive Committee plus 5 general members, including one trainee, and one non-physician) – Michael Hollifield, Jim Jaranson, Laurence Kirmayer, Brandon Kohrt, and Joan Koss. Two members were appointed to join the Board by the President prior to the changes in the bylaws. Consequently two additional members will be elected by the membership later this year and will join the Board prior to the annual meeting in May.

The 2013 Annual Meeting
Our annual meeting will be held at the Delta Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, from Friday-Sunday May 3-5, 2013, co-hosted by the University of Toronto. In a collaboration unique for SSPC, the first day will be jointly and collaboratively held with another local conference, the Diversity and Equity in Mental Health and Addictions Conference. The latter is a biennial conference in Toronto hosted by Hong Fook Mental Health Association, an ethno-specific mental health community agency, in partnership with the University of Toronto academic hospitals, Toronto Public Health, and other community agencies. This local conference features diverse topics ranging from clinical to academic perspectives, and is attended by frontline workers, managers, policy makers, clinicians, and researchers from multiple disciplines in the mental health field. Our annual conference will thus be enriched by tapping into local grassroots community and academic resources and expertise, promoting multidisciplinary exchange and cross-fertilization of ideas The meeting theme is stigma, an issue very relevant to our work .

Our joint meeting on Friday, May 3rd will feature Dr. Heather Stuart from Queen’s University Canada, Senior Consultant for the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Anti-stigma/Anti-discrimination Campaign and the world’s first Chair on Anti-stigma Research as keynote speaker. There will be a number of concurrent sessions related to stigma, diversity, and other cultural psychiatry topics in the morning and afternoon, including 4 sessions hosted by the SSPC. The day will conclude with a joint panel on stigma from multiple perspectives. You won’t want to miss this special day.

We also are looking forward to two additional days of symposia, free paper sessions, documentary films, and a poster session. Please follow the updated guidelines for preparing abstracts, which were mailed to most of you earlier in August and are available at our website www.psychiatryandculture.org and submit them before this year’s deadline of OCTOBER 8th.

Meeting registration will open on October 1. Forms will be posted at the SSPC website.

The winter edition of the newsletter will provide more details about the annual meeting program.

Best regards,
Steven