Conference Fees

SSPC Members/
Non-Members (Join)

Single Day Admission




Non-physician Professionals*






Accompanying Persons



 Above fees include daily breakfast, all lunches, break refreshments, syllabus and opening night reception.

*Please add $50 for CME credit.

Questions about the 2015 Annual Meeting? Contact Liz Kramer, SSPC Executive Director.



Please note that the room block at the Omni Providence has sold out.

As of 3/29/15, the Courtyard Providence Downtown (a 2-minute walk from the Omni) had rooms available on the nights of April 23rd through 25th. To book a room at the Courtyard, please visit their website.

New this year: Interactive workshops

There is no additional cost to attend these workshops, but pre-registration is required and enrollment is limited.

To enroll, please e-mail Liz.

Day 1, Thursday, April 23, 2015
Time Title Speaker/Facilitator
7:30 – 8:30 Continental Breakfast and Registration
8:30 – 8:45 SSPC Welcome
8:45 – 9:15 NIMH Welcome Pamela Collins
9:15 – 11:15 Plenary Panel 1

Cultural Challenges and Opportunities Experienced by Clinicians and Practitioners in Global Mental Health

J. Reginald Fils-Aimé
Oye Gureje
Vasudeo Paralikar
Kathleen Pike

Moderator: Hendry Ton11:15 – 11:30Break11:30 – 12:30

Charles Hughes Memorial Lecture

Culture in Context: Evaluating the Utility of the Cultural Formulation Interview (CFI) in Mexican Mental Health Patients

Alyssa Ramírez-Stege

Moderator: Brandon Kohrt

Discussant: Joan Koss

12:30 – 1:30Lunch1:30 – 3:30

Workshop 1: Cultural Adaptation of Psychotherapeutic Interventions

Learning Objectives

By the end of session, participants will be able to:

    1. Identify cultural assumptions underlying common forms of psychotherapy and sociocultural issues in conducting therapy.
    2. Describe strategies for developing and adapting interventions for different populations.
    3. Describe specific examples of cultural adaptations of evidence-based psychotherapies.


Background: With the globalizing world and increasing diversity in all communities, there is emerging recognition that modifications are needed to deliver effective psychotherapeutic interventions locally and abroad. As most evidence-based psychotherapies currently in practice have been developed in the West, it is important to question the underlying assumptions when using them in non-Western settings or with immigrant and refugee populations.Aim: Our aim is to enhance reflection on the assumptions underlying common forms of psychotherapy and identify steps for their cultural adaptation.

Proposition and Discussion: For this workshop, we will give brief descriptions of our experience in culturally adapting psychological interventions, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. We will then engage participants to:

  • reflect on the underlying cultural assumptions in the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of their particular psychological modality;
  • identify sociocultural factors on the technical and practical aspects of conducting cross-cultural psychotherapy; and
  • formulate a process for culturally adapting standard psychotherapies. Small group discussions on particular clinical vignettes will be employed to ground these discussions.

Implications: Reflecting through a cultural lens, we can increase our effectiveness in working with diverse populations and gain deeper insight about our psychological interventions.

Kenneth Fung
Kwame McKenzie
Muhammad Irfan
Farooq Naeem
Shanaya Rathrod
Lisa AndermannSymposium 1: Global Mental Health and CultureSamuel Okpaku
Robert Kohn
Duncan Pedersen
Mary Kay Smith


Moderator/Discussant: Helena HansenSymposium 2: Methods in Global Mental HealthEmily Haroz
Vasudeo Paralikar
Ankita Deshmuk

Moderator/Discussant: Nuwan Jayawickreme3:30 – 3:45Break3:45 – 5:45

Workshop 2: Ensuring Cultural Relevance & Sensitivity in the Development of ICD-11

Learning Objectives

    1. To describe the diverse approaches to developing missions for global mental health training programs
    2. To describe innovative solutions for challenges related to working in low-resource settings
    3. To describe contributions of global mental health training to general practice of mental health care


In the past decade, there has been rapid expansion of programs for clinical trainees interested in global mental health. However, development of new programs is characterized by a range of challenges related to defining educational missions in global mental health, determining core competencies, providing guidance on ethical training and practice, cultivating partnerships across settings varied by resources and culture, and sustaining global mental health initiatives in an environment of changing funding practices and educational policies. This workshop is designed to engage participants through a series of exercises related to these challenges. Innovative solutions based on current successful programs will be presented, and new approaches will be elicited through brainstorming and group activities. The workshop will include a series of small group activities facilitated by faculty directing global mental health programs across a range of institutions. Participants will explore the benefit of global mental health training to overall practice of psychiatry. The workshop is intended for educators, clinicians, and trainees currently engaged in or interested in development of global mental health training initiatives. The workshop will culminate in exploration of collaborations across training programs to optimize ethical, effective, and innovative education in global mental health.

Kathleen Pike

Discussant: Sergio Villaseñor-Bayardo

Symposium 3: Impact of Context on Mental IllnessJustin LaCasse
Matityahu Angel
Victor Puac-Polanco


Moderator/Discussant: Grace AkelloSymposium 4: Balancing Global-Local Approaches in GMHSumeet Jain
Rima Ghosh
Jordan Sloshower
Shubah Ranganathan

Moderator/Discussant: Dörte Bemme6:00 – 8:00Reception

Day 2, Friday, April 24, 2015
Time Title Speaker/Facilitator
8:30 – 10:30 Plenary Panel 2

Organizations and Funders Working in Global Mental Health

Jorge Rodríguez
Rima Ghosh
Giuseppe Raviola
Wietse TolModerator: Pamela Collins
10:30 – 10:45 Break
10:45 – 11:45 John Spiegel Memorial Lecture

Structural Violence and Common Mental Disorders in Women:  A Rural Community Survey in India

Minoo Ramanathan

Moderator: Robert Kohn

Discussant: Madelyn Hsiao-Rei Hicks

11:45 – 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 1:00 Business Meeting
1:00 – 3:00 Workshop 3: Design, Curriculum & Implementation of Training Programs in Global Mental Health

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will be familiar with the guiding principles and methodological strategies used to address issues of cultural relevance and sensitivity in the ICD-11 development;
  2. Participants will gain awareness of the several specific issues related to cultural relevance and sensitivity that emerged in the ICD-11 revision process;
  3. Participants will contribute recommendations to ensure comprehensive attention to the issues of cultural relevance and sensitivity in finalizing the ICD-11 guidelines.


The World Health Organization (WHO) is mandated by international charter to develop and maintain the classification system that categorizes all health conditions, including mental and behavioral health. This classification system, “The International Classification of Diseases” (ICD), is utilized by the 194 members states of WHO. This workshop will provide an overview of the ICD-11 development with a focus on the methodological aspects that have been incorporated in the process to maximize cultural relevance and sensitivity of the ICD-11. Guided by the overarching principle of clinical utility, the ICD-11 development has engaged clinicians from around the globe throughout the process such that cultural considerations have been integral to each step. The workshop will highlight examples of diagnostic categories where cultural issues have been of particular concern. We will discuss with and gather input from participants on the planned strategies to maximize cultural relevance and sensitivity in the final stage of development of the ICD-11 guidelines.
James Griffith
Craig Katz
Brandon Kohrt
Carla Marienfeld
Alexander Tsai
Milton Wainberg
Symposium 5: What Kind of Cultural Psychiatry for Africa Ademola Adeponle
Oye Gureje
Laurence Kirmayer
Lonzozou Kpanake

Moderator: Laurence Kirmayer

Discussant: Vivian DzokotoSymposium 6: Value of Qualitative Approaches to Understanding Cultural ContextMatthew Burkey
Melanie Medeiros
Ingrid Waldron
Joe Westermeyer

Moderator/Discussant: Bonnie Kaiser3:00 – 3:15Break3:15 – 5:15

Workshop 4: Cross-Cultural Instrument Development and Adaptation

Learning Objectives

  1. To discuss limitations in WHO guidelines for translation—back-translation of assessment instruments when conducting global mental health research
  2. To describe transcultural translation processes and alternative strategies to clinical validation
  3. To describe the influence of culture on response style and reference group bias


This workshop is an interactive participatory teaching session for the adaptation and development of mental health assessment tools in global mental health. Participants will engage in a simulated novel tool development process. They will be exposed to card sort and free-listing procedures, as well basic thematic analysis procedures, to demonstrate how qualitative and ethnographic data can be used to develop items and instruments. In addition, participants will engage in a simulated 5-step transcultural translation procedure for adaptation of an existing instrument. Concepts of equivalence in semantic, content, construct, and technical domains will be reviewed. Following these two processes, validation strategies will be discussed, and alternative validation procedures to standard clinical assessment will be discussed. The influence of culture on response style and reference group bias will be discussed with an introduction to techniques addressing configural/scalar invariance. Participants will learn techniques to calculate and adjust for group response bias. The workshop will include small group activities facilitated by researchers with instrument development and adaptation experience in diverse settings.

Nuwan Jayawickreme
Brandon Kohrt
Bonnie Kaiser
Andrew Rasmussen
Amber WutichSymposium 7: Closing the Mental Health Gap in BrazilRobert Kohn
Jair Jesus Mari
Euripides C Miguel


Moderator: Maria Mancebo

Discussant: Cristiane DuarteSymposium 8: Power Dynamics Affecting Mental Health Diagnosis and TreatmentEllen Rubinstein
Yi-Cheng Wu
Zhiying Ma

Moderator/Discussant: Artha Gillis5:15 – 6:30Poster Session

Day 3, Saturday, April 25, 2015
Time Title Speaker/Facilitator
8:30 – 10:30 Plenary Panel 3

Social Science Contributions to Global Mental Health

Grace Akello
Mary Jo Delvecchio-Good
Byron Good
Bernice Pescosolido

Moderator: Roberto Lewis-Fernández10:30 – 10:45Break10:45 – 12:15

Workshop 5: Ikebana and Wellbeing

Learning Objectives

    1. Participants will be able to describe the sense of well being that can be experienced through engaging with the ancient discipline of ikebana and its traditions.
    2. Participants will be able to discuss how Japanese/Chinese notions of wellbeing and distress, linked to self awareness and personal discipline, harmony between self and others, can be linked to recovery from personal pain and distress.
    3. Participants will be able to use these ideas in clinical practice with clients and families.


Background: The practice of Ikebana, Japanese Flower Arrangement, promotes personal well being and creativity, and requires a focus on the present moment. The discipline involves three elements- Jutsu, study of technique; Gaku, study of history; and Do, self cultivation. This workshop brings Japanese artistic traditions into an exercise that enables participants to reconnect with the playful aspects of one’s self. Clinical examples of benefit from the author’s experience will be included.Aims/Objectives: To allow participants to experience creative release and self discovery, using ideas from a different cultural aesthetic tradition.

Proposition: Following a presentation of principles of Ikebana, and a demonstration which contrasts Eastern and Western art forms and structural differences, the author will demonstrate making a morimono, a dried arrangement without water.

Participants will then be asked to consider an idea, eg a dream, or memory, they would like to use. They will then create a basic design on a flat base, using a branch which occupies only one third of the space on the base. Different items to support the design will then be added, including fruits and vegetables, a few flowers.

Participants will then share their reflections on the experience with the group.

Implications: Participants will have a better appreciation of how other traditions can promote a sense of well being.

Annie Lau

Workshop 6: The EXPONATE Project: Engaging Culture in Collaborative Global Mental Health Research

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this workshop, learners will be able to:

    1. Identify some of the challenges to implementation research and clinical trials in GMH.
    2. Recognize useful strategies for international collaboration and capacity building in GMH research.
    3. Discuss approaches to mixed-methods research in GMH integrating ethnographic and illness narrative methods


Background: Expanding care for Perinatal Women with Depression (EXPONATE) is a collaborative GMH project funded by Grand Challenges Canada that is adapting the mhGAP intervention package for use in the treatment of perinatal depression in rural Nigeria and testing its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in a fully powered randomized controlled trial.Objectives: This workshop will discuss the lessons learned from the initial stages of the EXPONATE project by team members based in Nigeria and Canada.

Methods: Participants will describe the rationale, implementation, and dilemmas raised in the three step mixed-methods approach. The initial phases of the research involved collecting information on local idioms of distress and help-seeking by both qualitative and quantitative methods, including the McGill Illness Narrative Interview (MINI). Later steps involved training local research assistants in complex developmental assessment techniques.

Results: Complex issues were raised at each stage of the project. Participants will discuss organizational issues, dilemmas in interpreting qualitative data on explanatory models, training lay workers to conduct developmental assessments, and dealing with cultural differences in norms that may affect instrument validity.

Implications: While mixed-methods approaches hold much promise for GMH research, there are many challenges in culturally adapting and implementing both measures and interventions.

Ademola Aneponle
Neda Faregh
Oye Gureje
Danielle Groleau
Phyllis Zelkowitz


Moderator: Laurence Kirmayer

Discussant: Vivian DzokotoSymposium 9: Improving Engagement of Ethnic & Racial Minorities thru Integrated CareAlbert Yeung
Justin Chen
Nhi-Ha Trinh
Trina Chang

Moderator/Discussant: Shannon Suo12:15 – 1:15Lunch 1:15 – 3:15Symposium 10: Incorporating Local Understandings of Illness and Wellness in Mental Health TreatmentKhameer Kidia
Albert Yeung
Darius Gishoma

Moderator/Discussant: Devon HintonSymposium 11: Treatment of Asylum Seekers and RefugeesJames Boehnlein
J. David Kinzie
Madhuri Shors

Moderator/Discussant: James GriffithSymposium 12: Training Approaches in Global Mental HealthAjeng Puspitasari
Martha J. Bojko
Auralyd Padilla

Moderator/Discussant: Brandon Kohrt

Accreditation Information
Accreditation Statement
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture. The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit Designation
Physicians: The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University designates this live activity for a maximum of 19.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Psychologists: The Alpert Medical School of Brown University has been approved by the Rhode Island Psychological Association to offer continuing education credits for Psychologists. The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University maintains responsibility for the program. The program is approved for 19.5 Category 1 CE Credits. (Credits available to RI licensed psychologists only.)

Overall, [the Annual Meeting] was a great cultural summit experience for all attendees…. The meeting had good international participation, the staff kept things moving smoothly, the presentations were high caliber, the audience was keenly involved in all discussions; and their discussions contributed a lot to the success of this meeting. Of note was the creativity, enthusiasm and scholarliness of the trainees at the conference, which bodes well for the field of cultural psychiatry and the vitality of the SSPC!

Ramaswamy Viswanathan

Division Chief, Consultation-Liaison Services, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry

As first-time attendees of the SSPC meeting, it was a unique and invigorating experience. Larger conferences can feel overwhelming, and are often hard to navigate for trainees.

A highlight of the conference was a half-day workshop specifically for residents that included a panel discussion of transference and countertransference issues in crosscultural settings, and case supervision with leaders in cultural psychiatry training. The participation of both case supervisors and residents was outstanding, with many sharing very touching and vulnerable cultural experiences.

Shaneel Shah, Karen Mu, and Shivana Naidoo

During the Annual Meeting, a session on Developing and Maintaining a Refugee Cultural Consultation Clinic inspired me to create a cultural psychiatry elective at my institution.

I enjoyed having breakfast and lunch together each day as this facilitated networking between attendees and dramatically increased the value of this meeting.  I found everyone from trainees at other institutions to members of the Board of Directors very approachable.

I had a positive experience through the many opportunities to learn, network and bond over meals and social gatherings. I’ll definitely attend the meeting in 2015 in Providence. I hope to meet more trainees (and experts) there!

Artha Gillis

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow, UCLA