Toronto-Jan 2013 newsletter

Our program for the 2013 conference in Toronto has been posted at the SSPC website (www.psychiatryandculture.org) for you to view. Many thanks to our Program Committee under the able leadership of Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, and the untiring support of our Executive Director, Liz Kramer. This year we had a bumper crop of unsolicited abstracts for presentations and symposia, along with several proposals solicited by the program committee. To all of our authors: we appreciate your submissions. Although we are now running concurrent sessions whenever possible, every good proposal could not be included in the program. We hope the authors of unaccepted abstracts will understand, plan to attend the meeting, and (if so inclined) discuss a re-submission with the Program Committee members.

The conference will have many exciting presentations. On Day One we have partnered with the Hong Fook Mental Health Association of Toronto, a community based organization, for major presentations on our conference theme – stigma — to bring leading speakers and the latest research on this important topic. Many members of Hong Fook will join us for a full day on aspects of stigma, along with the latest news on DSM-5 and its cultural components. Days Two and Three have plenary sessions on the history of cultural psychiatry (presented by our founding President, Ron Wintrob) and on stigma in the US military culture and the serious mental health challenges (e.g., suicide, brain injury and trauma) facing mental health providers. This year our Education and Training Committee will again feature special sessions for trainees only, including a return of case supervision with senior cultural psychiatrists and anthropologists. You won’t want to miss our annual business meeting when we will elect (for the first time) two new Board members. At that lunch session I will also introduce new SSPC members, explain enhancements to your SSPC membership that have been developed by our committees during the past year, and present plans for the 2014 meeting. Finally, I have an important explanation and suggestion regarding this year’s schedule. As usual, we are meeting for three full days. Typically we have met Thursday-Saturday. However, due to our inability to obtain meeting space for those days this year, the conference officially begins at 8:15 AM on Friday, May 3rd, and ends at 5:30 PM on Sunday, May 5th. I encourage you, if possible, to arrive on Thursday and leave either Sunday evening or Monday morning so you won’t miss any of these excellent presentations, and will still have enough time to meet with friends and colleagues.

Registration is now open. Don’t forget to tell the hotel you are attending the meeting and use the code listed on our website. I look forward to greeting everyone in May!