Newsletter of EPA Council of National Psychiatric Associations

Brussels Digest

Engage with the EPA in Patient Empowerment!

In June 2018, the EPA has officially endorsed the Call to Action on patient empowerment and self-management of treatment of persons with mental ill-health.

This Call is the result of fruitful discussions held earlier this year within the European Parliament Interest Group on Mental Health, Well-being and Brain Disorders, led by the EPA’s new Board member GAMIAN-Europe (Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe).

There is still time for your NPA to join us and support the Call to Action on patient empowerment. To know more on how to express your commitment, please contact Mari Fresu, Scientific and Policy Manager, EPA Brussels Office, at

Read more... 

M. Fresu, U. Kool
EPA Brussels Office

Hot Topics from around Europe

Core Statements about Psychiatry and Psychiatrists

The Working Group (WG) on the Identity of Psychiatry was appointed by the EPA Council of NPAs, and chaired by Silvana Galderisi and Peter Falkai. It was created to contribute to the task of re-affirming the identity of Psychiatry as a unified discipline.
Silvana Galderisi and Peter Falkai drafted a document containing 15 statements aimed to describe the role of psychiatry and psychiatrists in the 21st century, and contribute to unify the discipline. After several videoconferences involving part of the WG, the definitions of Mental Health and Mental Disorders were included in the document by S. Galderisi and P. Falkai, and the original statements were modified to include comments received from some of the WG members (Patrice Boyer, Ola Marstein, Agata Szulc, Pedro Varandas, and Zvi Zemishlany).
The final document was sent to Professor Tamas Kurimay and, after his approval, to the other members of the EPA Executive Committee. Comments received from the EPA Secretary General Dr. Julian Beezhold were also integrated in the document, and the final version was published as an Editorial in European Psychiatry No. 52, August 2018.


S. Galderisi, P. Falkai
Council Working Group on Identity of Psychiatry

EPA Position Paper on United Nations Convention

The EPA joins other associations in commending the United Nations commitment to promote the rights of persons with disabilities, and in identifying mental health as a global priority. The EPA strongly supports the paradigm shift embracing the model of shared decision making.

However, the EPA Executive Committee and Committee on Ethical Issues express great concern and disappointment surrounding the misleading and false portrayal of psychiatry in the Report, as well as the lack of any evidence or statistics supporting this opinion:

"United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities needs to be interpreted on the basis of scientific evidence regarding psychiatry"

by the EPA Executive Committee and the EPA Committee on Ethical Issues

Workshop with UN Special Rapporteur discusses
supported decision-making

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) strongly supports supported decision-making and favours it upon substituted decisions. In order to debate the possibilities and borders of supported decision-making for psychiatric practice in Germany and Europe, the German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (DGPPN) invited the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health and other experts in the fields of psychiatry and law, and former users of the mental health services to a symposium in Berlin on 5th July.

In his key note lecture the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Prof. Dainius Pūras, pointed out the differences in the implementation of human rights in mental health between regions of the world and called for a strong leadership of the relevant stakeholders, especially of psychiatrists and their associations.

Read more…
G. Gerlinger
German Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics

EPA Council of NPAs Symposium in Israel

The EPA Council of NPAs and the Israel Psychiatric Association (IPA) organized a Symposium on 31 May 2018 in Tel Aviv, on the occasion of the triennial Congress of the IPA.

The symposium titled "Schizophrenia – Outcome and Treatment Options" was well attended and addressed the following topics: "Can we improve schizophrenia outcome" (Prof. Galderisi, EPA President), "Bilingualism and schizophrenia" (Prof. Belmaker, IPA President), "Estrogen in schizophrenia" (Prof. Weiser, Israel), "Mortality and the relationship of somatic comorbidities to mortality in schizophrenia" (Prof. Bitter, EPA).

The symposium was a great occasion to increase EPA visibility and stimulating the IPA and its members to become an active part of the EPA Council of NPAs.

Special thanks to Tamas Kurimay, Chair of the EPA Council of NPAs, and to Silvana Galderisi for their support in organizing this symposium.

Z. Zemishlany
Israel Psychiatric Association

Online Courses: Overcoming the Limitations in Psychiatry Training

Provided that they can connect to internet, psychiatrists and psychiatry residents all over the country are provided with access to online courses on a wide range of topics covering core psychiatry curriculum.

This service does not differ according to their institution, position, location, and it is free of charge. The soul requirement is being a member of the Psychiatric Association of Turkey (PAT). Furthermore, the instructors of the courses, well-known experts in their field, contribute voluntarily.

Now, PAT’s Committee on Formal and Non-Formal Education is exploring ways to enrich the content and facilitate the access to the courses.

Read more…
K. Başar
Psychiatric Association of Turkey

Choose Psychiatry recruitment campaign

7 June 2018 saw the launch of the second phase of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ #ChoosePsychiatry campaign. This has come at great time as recent statistics from Health Education England show there's nearly a 30% rise in the number of doctors opting to train in psychiatry since 2013.

Choose Psychiatry recruitment campaign uses film to describe what psychiatry involves, how to become a psychiatrist and how the RCPsych can support trainees at all stages of their career.
O. Andlauer, E. Cook
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Time for Action!

New congress registration fees for EPA Warsaw 2019!

In view of continually improving services provided to its members, the EPA has decided to revise its congress registration fees for EPA Warsaw 2019. After consulting the NPAs on psychiatrists’ salaries in each country, the EPA Executive Committee has agreed to revise the congress registration fees categories, which will be now better adapted to the needs of psychiatrists around Europe.

Registration for EPA Warsaw 2019 will open in the next few weeks and will include the latest changes. Do not hesitate to check the revised registration fees on the EPA congress website and transmit this information to your individual members.
EPA Administrative Office

Last weeks to submit an abstract for EPA Warsaw 2019

Abstract submission is open for EPA Warsaw 2019 until 25 September 2018. NPAs are welcome to encourage their members and networks to make a submission.

The list of abstract topics and the submission form are available on the congress website.

Programme for Early Career Psychiatrists during EPA Warsaw 2019

The EPA Early Career Psychiatrists Committee will organize scientific programme and networking events for early career psychiatrists and trainees during the EPA congress in Warsaw in 2019.

The scientific programme includes a new format of clinical case discussions; many practical workshops on topics such as how to publish at the early career stage, how to conduct small research project on your own resources, how to perform basic psychotherapy, how to design psychiatric hospitals, and how to achieve work-life balance; a debate on adolescent suicide, and symposiums on digital mental health and mental illness and social isolation.

Colleagues from National Psychiatric Associations are warmly welcome to attend the programme and participate in lively discussions.

Early career psychiatrists enjoy a reduced rate for the EPA congress. In addition, the EPA will offer Travel Grants to early career psychiatrists who will submit abstracts before the deadline of 25 September. For more information, check here.

N. Jovanovic, M. Pinto da Costa
EPA Early Career Psychiatrists Committee 

Let's Collaborate!

Collaboration on EPA guidance papers on dementia

The EPA Section on Old Age Psychiatry (SOAP) has consistently been active over the last couple of years, contributing to EPA conferences with well attended and appreciated symposia and workshops. We supported national organisations in their struggle to maintain or implement training in Old Age Psychiatry. Interactions with the European Association of Geriatric Psychiatry have been intensified.

Future challenges will be the contribution of the SOAP to the development of EPA guidance papers focusing on the diagnosis treatment of care of different types of dementia. In this endeavor we would welcome the support of Psychogeriatric Sections of the EPA National Psychiatric Associations.

Interested NPAs are invited to contact Prof. Reinhard Heun ( 

R. Heun
EPA Section on Old Age Psychiatry

Further collaboration between European psychiatrists to prevent suicidal behaviors

The EPA Section of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA-SSSP) is aimed at improving research in the field of suicidology and translating research findings into clinical practice, and now accounts for more than 150 members, an international and multidisciplinary network of researchers and clinicians.

Considering networking a clue approach to scientific knowledge, EPA-SSSP members are constantly informed on what is new in the field with a monthly newsletter and encouraged to share initiatives occurring in their countries. To further enhance this networking activity, we offer a dedicated “forum space” on our website to every interested National Psychiatric Association, aimed at discussion and debate. Moreover, we can provide consultations and scientific support for national activities focused on suicidal and self-harming behaviours (especially in adolescence). 

Interested NPAs are invited to contact Prof. Marco Sarchiapone at

M. Sarchiapone, J. Lopez Castroman, C. Gramaglia
EPA Section of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention

EPA Sections in the spotlight

EPA Section on Prevention of Mental Disorders: from mapping Early Detection and Intervention in Psychosis Services in Europe to advising the Czech National Institute of Mental Health

The EPA Section on Prevention of Mental Disorders has run a survey to map existing Early Detection and Intervention in Psychosis services. Building on their international expertise, the committee of the Section will advise the National Institute of Mental Health of the Czech Republic in its project of implementing Early Detection and Intervention in Psychosis in the country.

O. Andlauer, N. Maric, A. Riecher-Rössler
EPA Section on Prevention of Mental Disorders

News from the Council

Council welcomes the Estonian Psychiatric Association

During the summer, the EPA Council of NPAs welcomed the Estonian Psychiatric Association as its most recent National Psychiatric Association Member. The Council of NPAs now represents 43 national societies from 40 European countries and continue to develop initiatives to form a stronger European voice for the improvement of psychiatry.

The Estonian Psychiatric Association was founded in 1989 in Tallinn and has 221 members, primarily certified psychiatrists. Promotion of psychiatry is one of its main activities. Dr Andres Lehtmets is the current President of the association and Dr Laanetu Mari-Liis is the Secretary General.

We welcome the Estonian Psychiatric Association as a new member and wish it fruitful cooperation within the EPA Council of NPAs.

For more information about the EPA Council of NPAs, please visit the EPA website.

T. Kurimay
EPA Council of NPAs Chair

New President of the Israel Psychiatric Association

Dr. Tsvi Fischel replaced Prof. Haim Belmaker as the President of the Israel Psychiatric Association (IPA) on 31 May 2018. Dr. Fischel has addressed the current priorities and challenges of IPA: shortage of resources, budgets and psychiatrists in public mental health. One of the consequences is a high use of mechanical restraints in the closed wards.

The new President has called the Ministry of Health to announce psychiatry as a field in crisis and to initiate a public committee that will examine the needs of mental health in Israel and suggest solutions.

The new Secretary is Dr. Marina Kupchik. Prof. Zemishlany will continue as Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

Z. Zemishlany
Israel Psychiatric Association

Reports from NPAs events

Ukrainian Psychiatry: Practice, Education, Researches

Scientific-Practical Conference with International ParticipationUkrainian Psychiatry: Practice, Education, Researches” was held in Kharkiv (Ukraine) on May 17-18, 2018.

Participants of the Conference were more than 350 specialists from Ukraine and abroad who work in the field of mental health care (psychiatrists, narcologists, psychotherapists, medical psychologists, educators, and representatives of non-governmental organization). The Conference was opened by Prof. Petro V. Voloshyn, President of the Association of Neurologists, Psychiatrists and Narcologists of Ukraine.

P. Voloshyn, N. Maruta, O. Kutikov
Association of Neurologists, Psychiatrists and Narcologists of Ukraine

First International Congress of the Society of Psychiatrists, Narcologists, Psychotherapists and Clinical Psychologists of the Republic of Moldova

The First International Congress of the Society of Psychiatrists, Narcologists, Psychotherapists and Clinical Psychologists of the Republic of Moldova was organised on 27-29 June 2018 in Chisinau.

The theme of the Congress was "Mental Health - a Priority, a Presence and a Necessity of the Contemporary Society". It addressed the major challenges and issues of mental health in all its complexity.

The Congress brought together psychiatrists, psychotherapists, researchers, narcologists, clinical psychologists, managers and policy makers from eleven countries (including the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Romania, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ukraine and India) to the benefit of the users, the health services and the general population.

J. Chihai
Society of Psychiatrists, Narcologists, Psychotherapists and Clinical Psychologists from Republic of Moldova 

Scientific collaborative events in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In the last 10 years, the Psychiatric Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina (PABH) established active connections with other associations and institutions involved in mental health and took important role in co-organization of all psychiatric events in our country. In 2018, PABH has planned to be involved in 3 national collaborative activities.


M. Burgic-Radmanovic, G. Racetovic
Psychiatric Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina


21-23 September 2018
(Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
16th Psychiatric Days of Bosnia and Herzegovina “Comorbidity in Psychiatry and Psychiatric Comorbidity in Medicine”, organised by the Psychiatric Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 September 2018
(Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
EPA Council of NPAs Symposium  “Comorbidity: Challenges in Diagnosis and Treatment”, hosted by the Psychiatric Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina
23 September 2018
(Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina)
EPA Itinerant CourseSupporting Family Members of People with Severe Mental Illnesses, hosted by the Psychiatric Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 September 2018
Deadline for submission of abstracts and Travel Grant applications for EPA Warsaw 2019
2-6 October 2018
(Izmir, Turkey)
54th National Congress of Psychiatry organised by the Psychiatric Association of Turkey, with the main title of “New Horizons New Hopes
2-6 October 2018
(Izmir, Turkey)
EPA Itinerant Course, other activities supported by the EPA & the Psychiatric Association of Turkey collaboration, and other activities with international contributions during the 54th National Congress of Psychiatry
4-5 October 2018
(Zaporizzhya, Ukraine)
Ukrainian Workshop "Together for Improving of Neurological and Mental Health"
13-17 October 2018
(Turin, Italy)
48th Congress of the Italian Psychiatric Association
26-27 November 2018
(Braunschweig, Germany)
CongressHealth Care of People with Disabilities - 150 years Evangelische Stiftung Neuerkerode”, co-organised by the EPA Section on Mental Health & Intellectual Disabilities (MHID)
30 November 2018
(Kortenberg, Belgium)
EPA Itinerant Course "Myths, misconceptions and pitfalls in consent and capacity assessment: cases, causes and clinical approaches", hosted by the Flemish Association of Psychiatry
7-8 December 2018
(Paris, France)
Annual Symposium of the EPA Section on Psychopathology "Beauty and Creativity"
23 January 2019
Early Registration Deadline for EPA Warsaw 2019
6-9 April 2019
(Warsaw, Poland)
27th European Congress of Psychiatry (EPA Warsaw 2019), under the motto: "Psychiatry in Transition – Towards New Models, Goals & Challenges"
April 2019
(Warsaw, Poland)
Joint workshop of the EPA Section on Psychopharmacology and EPA Section on Old Age Psychiatry "Drug-drug interactions in real clinical practice in elderly patients with mental disorders: how to avoid?"
8-11 May 2019
(Budapest, Hungary)
1st Regional European Conference on Perinatal and Early Childhood Mental Health "Prevention and clinical practice

InterACT Editorial Board members

Simavi Vahip (Turkey) - Editor-in-Chief
Bernardo Carpiniello (Italy)
Tamas Kurimay (Hungary)
Maria Ladea (Romania)
Nataliya Maruta (Ukraine)
Goran Racetovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Pedro Varandas (Portugal)
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