September 2015
Report and Action Plan September 2013

Edgard Belfort

WPA Secretary for Education

Members of the Educational Committee: Charles B. Nemeroff, Bulent Coskun, Maria Ines López-Ibor, and Michael Musalek

I am pleased to present the report of our action plan, which was carried out during this first period, following the guidelines of the triennial plan of the WPA Executive Committee.


1. International Symposium on Controversies in Psychiatry “Predictive indicators of response to psychopharmacologic medications”, May 30-June 1, 2012, Cancun, Mexico.

Organizing Committee: Edgard Belfort, Secretary for Education of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA); Enrique Camarena-Robles, President of the Latin American Psychiatric Association (APAL); Luis Sanchez-Planell, Professor of Psychiatry at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB); Julio Vallejo-Ruiloba, former President of the Spanish Psychiatry Society (SEP) Barcelona, Spain.

The organizing committee has presented a new format of psychiatry symposium in Latin America. In this new annual event they have discussed some of the most controversial topics in present day psychiatry and have invited together some of the best experts in the subject. This first symposium has dealt with "predictive indicators of response to psychopharmacologic medications" and the group of experts has discussed the subject openly and deeply.

Charles L. Bowden, USA; Pedro L. Delgado, USA; John M. Kane, USA; James H. Kocsis, USA; María Oquendo, USA; Mark E. Zimmerman, USA; Christoph U. Correll, USA; Javier I. Escobar, USA; Daniel N. Klein, NY, USA; Daniel Z. Lierberman, USA. Mark H, USA.

Results: Excellent scientific program, good acceptance by the participants. Three hundred and ninety mental health professionals from Latin American countries and from other different continents attended. The objective was reached, looking forward to planning a similar event for 2013.

2. WPA co-sponsored Meeting (Zone 3) XXVI Congress of the Asociación Centroamericana de Psiquiatría - VIII Congress of the Sociedad Panameña de Psiquiatría “Advances and Challenges of Psychiatry in the Third Millennium”, March 28-30, 2012, Panama City, Panama. WPA Symposium, WPA Zone 3 and APAL. Post-Graduate Curricula in Psychiatry in Centro America.

Organizing Committee: Edgard Belfort, WPA Secretary for Education; Mauricio Sanchez, WPA Zonal Representative for Zone 3.

Collaborators: Enrique Camarena (APAL President), Alfredo Cia (APAL Vice President), Leandro Dionisio (APAL Educational Section).

Participants: Presidents of WPA – APAL Societies of Centro America and Young Psychiatrists of this country.

Results: The Symposium has produced a consensus: “The Curriculum of Psychiatry Post Degree in Central America”.

3. WPA Thematic Conference (Zone 8) “Addiction Psychiatry”, March 29-31, 2012, Tarragona, Spain. Educational Seminar. WPA Symposium: Transcultural Psychiatry and Addictions.

Moderators: Prof. Pedro Ruiz, Prof. Edgard Belfort, and Prof. Miguel Casas.

  • The Epidemiological Perspective in the Research of Immigration and Drug Use. Dr. María Teresa Brugal, Chairman for Drug Addiction. Agency for Public Health of Barcelona.
  • The Emic and the Ethic in the Addictions Field. Dr. Joan Obiols, Chairman of Mental Health Services, Andorra.
  • Cultural Competence in Clinical Practice on Addictions. Dr. Francisco Collazos, Coordinator of the Program of Transcultural Psychiatry. Hospital Valld’Hebron, Barcelona, Spain.

4. 3rd Impact Mental Health Meeting “Interactive Meetings Promoting Access to Care and Treatment, May 23-25, 2012, Antigua, Guatemala. Organized by World Association for Social Psychiatry (WASP) - Driss Moussaoui (President) and WPA Zonal Representative for Zone 11.

Results: It was a successful event and a great opportunity to share and to strengthen relationship between WASP and the WPA Secretary for Education.

5. WPA 1st Educational Seminar – Latin American Region “Bipolar Disorders”, May 17-18, 2012, Lima, Peru. Organized by: WPA Secretary for Education.

Programme: Bipolar Disorders

Dr. Pedro Ruiz – Epidemiology; Dr. Ihsan Salloum – Comorbidity Factors; Dr. W. Edward Craighead – The Role of Psychotherapy in Bipolar Disorders; Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff – Treatment of Bipolar Depression; Dr. Maria Oquendo – Clinical Presentation; Dr. Edgard Belfort – Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorders in Children and Adolescents; Dr. Mauricio Tohen – Maintenance Treatment of Bipolar Disorders; Dr. Maria Oquendo – Treatment of Acute Mania.

Results: On this occasion, we made our presentations to a large group of psychiatrists (90) that have come to Lima from almost all of the countries of Latin America. Certainly, this Seminar was a major educational contribution for our colleagues from Latin America. The attendees at this Seminar have received a Certificate of Attendance from the WPA and a CME Certificate with 15 WPA credits as well.

6. WPA Educational Program, Bali, Indonesia, 13-15 September 2012.WPA Regional Meeting, Mental Health and Disaster “Beyond Emergency Response”.

WPA Forum - Coordinator: Levent Küey.

WPA Educational Seminars (ES)-1 Psychiatry in Primary Care. 1. Primary Care Psychiatry: Models for training, Michelle Riba (USA). 2. WPA Education Program on Depression and Primary Care, Tarek Okasha (Egypt). 3. Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care Settings, Afzal Javed (Pakistan). 4. Diagnosis, Prevention and Management of Mental Disorders in Primary Care, Levent Küey (Turkey).

ES-2 Stigma and Psychiatry. 1. Discrimination, Disparities, Stigma & Mental Health, Pedro Ruiz (USA). 2. Do we need new paradigms for fighting stigma related to mental illness?, Norman Sartorius (Switzerland). 3. Stigma and discrimination in mental illness: A comparison of Asian and Australian issues from a personal perspective, Mohan Isaac (Australia). 4. Careers and families’ perspective: Asian perspective, Afzal Javed (UK), Manickam Thirunavukarasu (India).

ES-3 Managing Disasters and Trauma. 1. Tsuyoshi Akiyama (Japan). 2. Learning from MH response in various disasters in Indonesia, Albert Maramis (Indonesia). 3. Psychological support after major disasters in Japan: from Kobe and Tohoku experience, Hiroshi Kato (Japan).

ES-4 Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 1. Mental Health in Children: An Arab Perspective, Tarek Okasha (Egypt). 2. Psychopathological Aspects of the School Failure in Children and Adolescents, Miguel Casas and Francisco Collazos (Spain). 3. Behavioral Problems in Children and Adolescents, Jesus Saavedra (Puerto Rico). 4. Bipolar Disorders in Children and Adolescents: Latin American Perspectives, Edgard Belfort (Venezuela). WPA. Lecture 1. Poverty as a Factor in Social Crisis and Human Disasters, Pedro Ruiz (USA). 2. Disaster and Resiliency, Tsuyoshi Akiyama (Japan).

7. WPA co-sponsored Meeting (Zone 8) Educational Program, Bilbao, Spain. Towards a predictive psychiatry, participative, personalized and preventive, 25-28 September 2012.

WPA Educational Seminar. 7.1 Educational programs Perspective in Psychiatry: Challenges and opportunities. Chairman: Pedro Ruiz (USA)/Miguel Gutierrez (Spain). Speakers: Pedro Ruiz (USA), Edgard Belfort (Venezuela), Jerónimo Saiz Ruiz (Spain), Miguel Casas (Spain).

Educational Objective: Improving training programs from the perspective of international cooperation and integrative; giving the opportunity to learn from the different programs, their structures, history, roles, outcomes, challenges and opportunities.

7.2 “Academic exchange program between the Spanish Foundation of Psychiatry and Latin American Psychiatric Association: achievements and prospects”. Coordinator: Rogelio Gallegos C. (México), Edgar Belfort (Venezuela), Enrique Camarena (México), Alfredo Cia (Argentina).

8. WPA Educational Symposium, Prague, Czech Republic, 17-21 October 2012, WPA International Congress “Focusing on Access, Quality and Human Care”.

8.1. Improvement of Psychiatric Training through International Collaboration of Early Career Psychiatrists. Edgard Belfort, Alexander Nawka, and Zuzana Lattová. Speaker I: Zuzana Lattová (WPA ECPC) Psychiatric Center Prague, Czech Republic. Speaker II: Alexander Nawka (EPA ECPC), Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples SUN, Italy. Speaker III: Florian Riese (EFPT), Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. Speaker IV: Olga Paravaya (YPSNET), Republican Research and Practical Center of Mental Health, Minsk, Belarus.

Educational objectives: Joint symposium of four important early psychiatrists organizations (WPA ECPC, EPA ECPC, EFPT and YPSNET) will give the opportunity to early career psychiatrist can learn about their structure, history, meetings, main goals, but mainly allow direct contact with their leaders. It will moreover provide information on results of several international projects that have been carried out and possibility to get involved.

8.2. Lecture “Bipolarity in children: A Latin American View” is scheduled during the Meet the Expert Session on Thursday, October 18, Prof. Edgard Belfort (Venezuela). 8.3. Meeting of the Operational Committee on Education. The attendees: Edgard Belfort, Charles Nemeroff, Bulen Coskun, Maria Ines Lopez-Ibor, and Michael Musalek, 18 October 2012. 8.4 WPA International Psychiatrist Educational Programme on Co-Morbidity. The WPA Operational Committee on Education are in conversation with the Dialogue on Diabetes and Depression on the development of an international psychiatrist education programme on the co-morbidity of mental and medical disorders focusing on diabetes and depression.

Educational objectives: We look forward to the opportunity to discuss this further with each of you while in Prague and to begin constructing an international training programme which will meet the unique needs of psychiatrists in order to improve outcomes for the many patients suffering from these co-morbid mental and medical conditions.

9. WPA Educational Symposium, Natal, Rio Grande Do Norte, Brazil, 10-13 November 2012. WPA co-sponsored Meeting (Zone 5) 30th Brazilian Congress of Psychiatry “Psychiatry, Science and Medical Practice”. WPA/APAL Educational Seminar: Education and Training in medical Practice. Enrique Camarena (APAL President), Alfredo Cia (APAL President Elect), Edgard Belfort (WPA Secretary for Education).

10. WPA Educational Forum. WPA co-sponsored Meeting (Zone 5). XXVII APAL Latin American Congress “Identity and Validity of Latin-American Psychiatry: Unity and Diversity”, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 16-19 November 2012.

10. 1. WPA/APAL Educational Forum. Psychiatric Training through international collaboration of young psychiatrists. Chairs: Pedro Ruiz (USA), Edgard Belfort (Venezuela) Speakers: Pedro Ruiz (USA), Enrique Camarena (Mexico), Dinesh Bhugra. (UK), Levent Küey (Turkey), Alfredo Cia (Argentina), Edgard Belfort (Venezuela).

Educational objectives: Provide information on results of several international projects that have been carried out and possibility to get involved.

11. WPA Educational Seminars, Athens, Greece, November 29-December 2, 2012, WPA Thematic Conference (Zone 8). World Psychiatric Association Thematic Conference on Intersectional - Collaboration: "The Multidisciplinary Facets of Psychiatry" Lecture “Educational Programs for Developing Countries: Challenges and Opportunities”, Edgard Belfort.

12. WPA Educational Symposium, La Asuncion, Paraguay, 10-12 January 2013. WPA Regional Meeting (Zone 5) “Addressing Mental Health Needs: Latin American Perspectives”. WPA Educational Program, Opening Lecture “Poverty as a Factor in Social Crisis & Human Disasters”, Prof. Pedro Ruiz (WPA President).

12.1 Lectures. 1. Role of Patients, careers & families in the treatment programmes: some emerging priorities in current psychiatric practice, Afzal Javed (WPA Secretary for Section). 2. A universal fact in transitional societies: epidemiological and clinical aspects of depressive disorders in women, Levent Küey (WPA Secretary General). 3. The educational processes in psychiatry and mental health: Latin American Perspectives, Edgard Belfort (WPA Secretary for Education). 4. Medical Leadership - theories and skills, Dinesh Bhugra (WPA President-Elect). 5. New paradigm for psychiatry, Tsuyoshi Akiyama (WPA Secretary for Finances). 6. Under-teaching of Mental Health versus Over-teaching of Mental Disorder, Tarek Okasha (WPA Secretary for Meetings). 7. Depression and Cancer, Michelle Riba (WPA Secretary for Publications).

12.2 WPA Educational Seminars & Symposium 1. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Chairman: Edgard Belfort (Venezuela).  Participants/Speakers: Mental Health in Children; an Arab Perspective, Tarek Okasha (Egypt); Behavioral problems in children and adolescents, Omaira Rosales (Venezuela);Bipolar disorders in children and adolescents, Edgard Belfort (Venezuela); Cognitive functions and Executive Functions in Child Psychopathology, Rodrigo Chamorro (Chile).

12.3 WPA Educational Seminar/Primary Care in Mental Health for Young Psychiatrists. Chairman: Pedro Ruiz (USA)/Dinesh Bhugra (UK). Participants/Speakers: Pedro Ruiz (USA), Dinesh Bhugra (UK), Tsuyoshi Akiyama (Japan).WPA Educational Program on Depression and Primary Care and for the Child, Tarek Okasha (Egypt).

12.4 WPA Educational Seminar/Primary Care in Mental Health for Physicians and Mental Health Worker. Chairman: Edgard Belfort (Venezuela)/Levent Küey (Turkey). Participants/Speakers: Enrique Camarena (México), Levent Küey (Turkey), Michelle Riba (USA), Afzal Javed (Pakistan).

12.5 WPA Educational Seminar for trainees and early career psychiatrists on leadership training, Dinesh Bhugra (UK).


WPA supports psychiatr y residents leadership in Central America

Within the framework of the XXVII Central American Congress of Psychiatry, organized by ACAP (Asociación Centroamericana de Psiquiatría) held in San Salvador, El Salvador, last March, I had the opportunity to participate in a forum to discuss opportunities to improve the Psychiatry Programs in Latin America.

Motivated by my Academic Director, Dr. Américo Reyes-Ticas, who drives us toward new perspectives in the development of psychiatry not only in Honduras but in Central America, I attended this Congress and had the opportunity to exchange experiences with psychiatry residents from Guatemala and El Salvador.

We presented before members of WPA/APAL our different views, with the purpose to place psychiatry in our region in the preferential place that it belongs among medical sciences.

The exchange of ideas was wide, friendly and fruitful, having an interest in the following initiatives:

• Strengthening ties between residents and the corresponding psychiatric association in each country as is the case in Honduras

• Guarantee exclusive spaces for residentsas presenters at both national and regional psychiatry Congresses

• Opening subspecialty programs in Central America

• Scholarship programs and fellowships for residents supported by the WPA/ APAL/ACAP

• Academic exchanges for residents and teachers of the Postgraduate Psychiatry Programs

• WPA/APAL/ACAP involved in accrediting Residency Psychiatry Programs in Central America

• Enrichment and improvement of the residents’ leadership skills

Inspired by the opening of Dr. Pedro Ruiz, president of the WPA, we have already started a communication process to organize the Association of Psychiatry Residents in Central America and the Caribbean as the organization that emerges with renewed leadership and committed to crystallize our deepest professional aspirations.

With the appropriate and timely monitoring of WPA/APAL and the strong support of our psychiatric associations, we are certainly sure that new, better, and more successful times await in the near future.

Edwing García

Psychiatric Residency Program Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras




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