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November 2010
Bridging the gap among French-speaking colleagues: Psy-Cause, a talk journal gaining momentum

It was brought to my attention that a group of French colleagues started in 1995 at a psychiatric hospital, near Avignon, France, a journal they named Psy-Cause1. This journal was geared as a vehicle to bring information and professional development to the hospital staff. Psy-Cause gained regional and national interest and editorial members decided to initiate yearly meetings, commencing in Avignon in 1997. In October 2010, it will take place in Béziers, France. Avoiding any ‘chapel squabbles’, editors accept texts referring to all scientific trends. Its editorial line is clearly positioned within the humane dimension of the person’s psychiatric care. Psy-Cause focuses mainly on the impact of culture in clinical practice and the mind-body relationship.

This journal’s international dimension started in 2005 by a Franco-Egyptian meeting in partnership with the Aswan psychiatric hospital.  The Parakou University, Benin, then held a 2007 Psy-Cause Congress with psychiatrists coming from Western Africa, Canada and France. Russian psychiatrists with the Psy-Cause team organized in 2009 a meeting centered on hypnosis and dependence issues. In June 2010, Moroccan psychiatrists organized in Marrakech the 5th Psy-Cause Congress.

The Psy-Cause action does not limit itself to meetings but also supports local initiatives. The modernization of the Aswan psychiatric hospital was backed by regular exchanges with French members. Psy-Cause was recently accreditated as a medical specialty journal by the African and Madagascar Council for Post-Secondary Education (CAMES) from 19 African countries. Psy-Cause favours training sessions for all psychiatric professions and was awarded the French Lilly Prize for Continuous Medical Development in 1999. It opens up its lines to young colleagues wanting to publish in French their research findings and introduces a dialog for advancing the debate on psychiatry among mental health professionals, all to improve psychiatric care in a more humane and culturally sensitive world.

1 Psy-Cause comes from a word play as Cause means talk in French and Psy-Cause is close to ‘psychose’ standing for psychosis in French.

Jean Paul Bossuat
Raymond Tempier, WPA Zonal Representative for Zone 1 (Canada)

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