Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Following the COVID-19 pandemics and armed conflicts in European region, and Middle East, more disruptions and disparities are generated in the communities. This raises vulnerability and mental health became a global priority for our countries.

For the last decade main goal of our professional community was to provide mental health care that is assessable for all, respectful of human rights and focused on recovery. But during this past two years mental health became a vital concern in our changing world.

Together with our member society, Armenian Psychiatric Association, we take great pride to greet all the participants of the WPA Regional Meeting “Innovation in the Practice of Psychiatry in XXI Century” that will take place in Yerevan, June 8-10, 2023.

The importance of the area of mental health in public health is mostly underestimated, and thus, does not drive attention of many policymakers and public health leaders, but now there is momentum and the highest possible recognition of mental health. For the region in general and for Armenia specifically it is important to address mental health conditions which are a leading cause of suffering and disability. Following the recent escalation of conflict in Nagorno Karabakh, other armed conflicts in the region surged in significant number of displaced populations, death and injury amongst both civilians and military personnel. This rendered a high level of distress amongst affected and host population.

Largely, there are more people living with mental disorders in areas affected by conflict than we can think of. These people desperately need to be able to obtain treatment and care. Their disorders often impair their ability to function – so access to care isn’t just about improving mental health, it can be a matter of survival.

During the Meeting we will have an opportunity to share modern approaches and techniques in psychiatry – including those in psychotherapies, neuromodulation, pharmacology, digital technologies, and social therapies.

Priority areas to be addressed include the mental health fall-out of the COVID-19 crisis, a surge of diseases of despair, the persistent prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders among young people, the growth of self-harm and suicide, and the unmet needs of people with dementia or autism spectrum disorders, as well as to bring mental health services closer to the community. By doing this we respect the rights of people with mental health conditions and offer equitable opportunities to attain the highest quality of life.

With this Regional Meeting we aim to pin down the theme of the mental health and wellbeing as a priority and counter the stigmatization of mental health problems.

We are envisaging a large-scale experience exchange among high level professionals in our field, as well as to enjoy informal retreat in warm and welcoming atmosphere of hospitality that Armenia as usually shows always and above.

Participation in WPA organized Regional Meetings pays dividends to enjoy the presence of your colleagues, who are sharing your values and interests in profession, grate food, immemorable cultural program.

We are looking forward to meet all of you in Yerevan, from 8 to 10th of June, 2023.

Prof. Afzal Javed, WPA President

Dear colleagues,

We cordially invite you to participate in the Regional Congress of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) entitled “Innovations of Psychiatric Practice of the XXI Century” to be held on June 8-10, 2023, in Yerevan.

This is a good opportunity to meet colleagues form different countries of the world under the biblical view of snowy Ararat, to present your own practical and scientific achievements, to get acquainted with others’ experience, to jointly discuss current issues in mental health and the possibilities of their solutions.

There is many to be addressed and discussed: the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 pandemics and uncontrollable and directed from different centers information flows on mental health, hybrid wars and real wars that take hundred thousands of lives, threatening increase of psychosomatic problems, child mental health issues, dementia and comorbidities, “medicalization” of society, a new paradigm issue in psychiatry, effective and widespread implementation of scientific and technical achievements in high-income countries and, in parallel, unsolved  problems of mental health staff and  provision of basic medicine in low-income countries.

The problems can be listed on and on, but we have power to reflect on them together and, I believe, we will take a step forward to find solutions.

After a ten-year break, the Armenian Psychiatric Association has once again been honored to organize this historical event and to make our capital city Yerevan the World capital of psychiatry for these three days.

The Armenian Psychiatric Association, together with the Conference Organizing Committee and partners, under the leadership of the President of the WPA, Prof. Afzal Javed, will do their best to ensure an efficient and interesting scientific program as well as an attractive and memorable social program for all participants.

Armen Soghoyan

President, Armenian Psychiatric Association