Kolkata for First-time Hosts World Psychiatric Association’s Regional Congress

The World Psychiatric (WPA) Association is holding its Regional Congress for the first time in Kolkata. This mega academic event is being held for 4 days at the ITC Royal Bengal, Kolkata.

Dr Gautam Saha, President of SAARC Psychiatric Federation & Organizing Chairperson of this Congress & Dr. G. Prasad Rao Chairperson Scientific Committee welcomed all delegates and mentioned that there are more than 1000 delegates attending over 3 days from 14th-16th April 2023 with additional pre congress workshops on 13th April 2023. The President of World Psychiatric Association, Prof Afzal Javed is personally attending the Conference in Kolkata.

The theme of the conference is ‘Building Awareness, Bridging Treatment Gap’ highlights the importance of bringing together the psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, providing a forum where the voice of patients or highly traumatized fellow human beings and their families will be heard.

This theme has been chosen, keeping in mind the enormous treatment gap of 85% in mental health service provisions. There is fundamental three main reasons for this worrying gap, of which stigma comes first, a low ratio of doctor to patient. Unfortunately, we have only 1:10000 psychiatrists and we aim to reach the target of 1: 2000 psychiatrists by bridging this gap.

The Scientific Committee has arranged 225 hours of academic programme, with nearly 110 workshops, 86 symposiums, 120 free papers, 48 posters, 11 pre congress workshops.

This is one of the rare occasions of a conference organised by World Psychiatric Association which is being attended by 4 Presidents of WPA, present and past. More than 10 different Psychiatric Association of different countries are being represented by their Presidents.

A mental health awareness walk along Victoria Memorial was organized on 14 April. The walk was attended by several celebrities, doctors, school students and children with mental disorder.

The Regional Congress is being attended by more than 1000 delegates from 26 different countries and 5 continents. Members from all the SAARC countries have actively collaborated to plan this event which includes a special session for NGOs, Carers, undergraduate students, and senior judge to discuss all interfaces of mental health.


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