Report from the WPA Regional Meeting
“Mental Health and Disaster: Beyond Emergency Response”
September 13-15, 2012
It has been extremely heartening to have taken part in the WPA Regional Meeting in Bali as a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist given the prominence given to child and adolescent mental health topics, lectures and workshops. The meeting was held in the beautiful setting of Nusa Dua in Bali and was led by Prof. Pedro Ruiz, President of the WPA in collaboration with Dr. Tun Kurniasih Bastaman, President of the Indonesia Psychiatric Association.
This Regional meeting attracted psychiatrists from the South East Region of Asia, an area of extreme need where: “during the last two decades natural and man made disasters have become a major humanitarian concern” (Welcome message from Dr. Tun K Bastaman, President Indonesian Psychiatric Association).
In addition to meeting many colleagues from the Region and attending a rich scientific and educational programme there was also the opportunity to meet members of the WPA Executive Committee and take part in the WPA Forum. One was able at first hand to hear a summary of each of the Executive Member’s activities and achievements. There was also the opportunity to present the main objectives of the WPA Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CAP) Section to the Executive and to lobby for an even greater presence of child and adolescent psychiatry topics and activities at future WPA conferences and activities.
For it could safely be said that almost every adult psychiatric condition has its antecedents in childhood mediated through heritability, developmental trajectories and environmental influences. Even conditions associated with post-pubertal onset such as schizophrenia and classical bipolar disorder will show atypical features in childhood. Where epidemiological data exists we know that more than a third of all adult disorders start in childhood and adolescence and there is evidence that 75% of some psychiatric disorders of adulthood begin before the age of 24 ( Kessler National Co-morbidity study).
It is therefore necessary to continue to raise the number of CAP contributions to the activities of WPA with an emphasis on prevention and intervention in young people. This was the key message put across to the WPA Executive.
Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O, Jin R, Merikangas KR, Walters EE.
Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005 June;62(6):593-602.
Co-Chair, WPA Section on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry