The Third Annual Indian Global Psychiatric Initiative (IGPI 2012) was convened at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences during January 17 – 18. Organized jointly with two Psychiatry Associations, viz. Indo-Australian and Indo-New Zealand, the conference discussed latest treatment modalities and research studies in areas related to mental health care.
“IGPI seeks to provide exposure to young graduates and postgraduates to global standards in psychiatric care,” stated Dr. P. C. Kesavankutty Nayar, Organizing Chairman of IGPI 2012 and Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at Amrita.
Conference speakers included Dr. John Oldham, President of the American College of Psychiatrists; Dr. Matcheri S. Kesavan, Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and Dr. Russel D’ Souza, Director of Clinical Trials and Research at Melbourne University, Australia and President of IGPI. Dr. Subodh Dave, Psychiatrist at Derby City General Hospital, UK; Jean Furtos, Psychiatrist at Centre hospitalier Le Vinatier, France and Hans Jurgen Moller, Professor of Psychiatry at the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany were other distinguished speakers.
Around 150 delegates from different parts of the world including United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Europe attended the event.
The scientific program covered topics such as Psychiatric Services and Mental Health Delivery, Community Care, Neurobiology and Pharmacological Treatment of Schizophrenia, Strategies and Challenges in the Treatment of Depression, Autism, Psychiatric Diagnosis and Classification and Six Sigma in Health.
At the inaugural ceremony, Major General Dr. J. K. Bhansal, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Government of India, highlighted the role of psychiatric services for counselling disaster victims. “Timely intervention is necessary in delivery of psychiatric care in such cases,” he said.
Dr. Bhansal elaborated on the NDMA guidelines for psycho-social support and mental health services.
Prior to the two-day conference, Amrita hosted the 2nd Global Training and Education Fellowship Program for budding psychiatrists, during 15-16, 2012. The fellowship program brought together a select group of young psychiatrists from India, Egypt, Iran, Bangladesh, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Russia. Participants learned more about ethics, improving research methodologies and newer approaches to management of several key psychiatric disorders.
“All found meaning in travelling and coming here to take part in the Global Psychiatric Initiative,” noted Prof. Russel D’Souza, President of IGPI.
Summed up Dr. P. C. Kesavankutty Nayar, “The exchange of ideas and discussions on contemporary psychiatric challenges will definitely help all participants improve their clinical skills.”