20 international specialists for four-day mental health, well-being conference

Guyanese will benefit from the expertise of some 20 specialists from the Caribbean, Australia, South Africa, Europe, the United States, and Asia when the four-day mental health and well-being conference gets underway at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre from November 15.

Health Minister, Hon. Dr Frank Anthony

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony, said the conference which runs until November 18, will be a great opportunity for people to interact with the prestigious professors in mental health.   

Persons interested in learning about mental health, suicide prevention, and other related issues should attend the conference.

“Of course, we would like to have all of our professional persons who are interested in this area join us and to make sure that they get as much out of the conference as possible,” Dr Anthony underlined.

This will be the second edition of the conference.

Child Psychiatric Epidemiologist, Professor Christina Hoven of Columbia University and some of her colleagues will lead the effort for the academic conference in Guyana.

“In addition to her, they have been working with us very closely, and we have at least three studies; longitudinal studies that they are doing in Guyana. One is the Guyana suicide study and the others have to do with trauma at the Accident and Emergency. Recently, we’ve had another study looking at factors relating to suicide for persons between the ages of 12 to 20.”

Dr Anthony lauded the relationship between Guyana and Columbia since these studies are being conducted in Guyana. He said one of the spin-offs from the relationship is ensuring the conference is hosted annually.

Professor Judit Balazs of the Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary; Psychiatrist, Professor Prabha Chandra; German-Croatian Psychiatrist and University Professor Norman Sartorius, and Swedish Professor Danuta Wasserman, are among the experts who will attend the conference.

Presentations will include epidemiology, child psychiatry, suicidology, perinatal psychiatry, and issues relating to psychiatry and sexual and reproductive health.

The PPP/C Administration has begun several initiatives to address mental health issues since assuming office.

The event is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Health, the University of Guyana, Columbia University, and other local partners.

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