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October 2012
WPA Zone 7 (Northern Europe) and the WPA Zone 10 (Eastern Europe)

Neighbourship of Northern and Eastern Europe: realities of collaboration between Finnish and Russian professionals

The initiative to strengthen the Finnish-Russian collaboration was discussed by the Board members of the Finnish Psychiatric Association (FPA) (Profs. J. Korkeila, T. Svirskis, and N. Lindberg), and the Russian Society of Psychiatrists (RSP) (Profs. N. Neznanov, V. Krasnov, A. Bobrov, Z. Kekelidze, O. Limankin, and M. Kulygina) during a meeting held on 12 December 2011 within the 4th Congress on Social and Forensic Psychiatry in Moscow, Russia.

The first joint project was devoted to the direction of Early Career Psychiatrists’ (ECPs) activities. It has been realized on 14-16 March 2012 in Helsinki, Finland. Seven representatives from the Russian ECPs Council (President, D. Smirnova) from the cities of St. Petersburg, Moscow and Samara received fellowships from the FPA, met representatives of the Trainee Section of the FPA (President, A. Alaraisanen) and participated in the regular scientific event of the FPA which takes place annually during the 11th and 43th weeks of the year.

The ECPs visited an Award ceremony of the FPA. Minna Valkonen-Korhonen, the FPA President announced the prizes for Best psychiatrist (clinician) and for Best academic dissertation. Several fellowships were designated by the Board and Best Educator was chosen by the Trainee Section. The programme also included the interactive workshop on Improving the quality of Postgraduate Training in Psychiatry delivered by Prof. A. Brittlebank (Associate Dean, Royal College of Psychiatrists, London, UK) and a very informative site visit to Helsinki University Central Hospital (HUCH) with lectures on Health Care and Mental Health Care functioning in Finland and the attendance of a number of specialized departments provided by the Chief of HUCH, Prof. G. Joffe.

Ideas within further collaboration such as research projects in transition (topics of suicides studies and prevention, system of psychosocial rehabilitation, alcohol addiction, seasonal affective disorders, sleep disturbances and light therapy), opportunities of Russian-speaking psychiatrists living in Finland to visit refresher courses in leading educational institutions of Russia in individual order, organization of visits of Finnish colleagues to hospitals within participation in international conferences in Russia and study-visits of the Russian ECPs during annual meetings of FPA were discussed during negotiations on 15 March 2012.

The Finnish side offered to support the ECPs plan of collaboration within the future 100 anniversary conference of the FPA which will take place in May 2013 and invite distinguished lecturers from amongst WPA members. An organizing committee of the Trainee Section of the FPA and the Russian ECPs Council will work out a one-day educational programme with lectures and workshops in English as an after-conference event for Finnish and Russian ECPs.

Daria Smirnova, Chair of Council of Early Career Psychiatrists
Russian Society of Psychiatrists

Antti Alaraisanen, President of Trainee Section

Finnish Psychiatric Association

(long version)

Standing: Alexander Erychev (St. Petersburg), Andrew Brittlebank, Associate Dean, Royal College of Psychiatrists (London), Nina Lindberg, Board member of FPA (Helsinki), Jyrki Korkeila, FPA Past President (Turku), Anna Maystrenko (Moscow), Grigori Joffe, Chief, Department of Psychiatry, HUCH Hospital Area (Helsinki), Yulia Yakovleva (St. Petersburg), Antti Alaräisänen, President of Psychiatric Trainee Section of FPA (Oulu), Denis Kuchmenko (St. Petersburg), Hanna Haravuori, Past President of Psychiatric Trainee Section of FPA (Helsinki). Seated: Tanja Svirskis, Board member of FPA (Helsinki), Anna Spikina (St. Petersburg), Daria Smirnova, President of Russian ECPs Council (Samara). Behind the camera: Ivan Tereshatov (St. Petersburg).

Short version:

Standing: Alexander Erychev (St. Petersburg), Andrew Brittlebank (London), Nina Lindberg (Helsinki), Jyrki Korkeila (Turku), Anna Maystrenko (Moscow), Grigori Joffe (Helsinki), Yulia Yakovleva (St. Petersburg), Antti Alaräisänen (Oulu), Denis Kuchmenko (St. Petersburg), Hanna Haravuori (Helsinki). Seated: Tanja Svirskis (Helsinki), Anna Spikina (St. Petersburg), Daria Smirnova (Samara). Behind the camera: Ivan Tereshatov (St. Petersburg).

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