International Conference: Promoting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of Children and Adolescents

As you might remember, our Chair Marco Sarchiapone has been working with UNICEF since 2013, with a mental health and suicide prevention project (as explained below).  In 2018 Marco Sarchiapone was the President of the 1st International Conference “Promoting the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents” organized by UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan. As this fruitful collaboration is ongoing, Marco Sarchiapone recently travelled back to Kazakhstan, where he was involved by the National Mental Health Department in the training of 25 psychiatrists and psychologist who will in turn train other colleagues about adolescents’ well-being. During his stay in Kazakhstan, he was also invited to take part to an international conference organized by Unicef about the  topic of adolescents’ well-being.

Please see HERE for further details.

Since 2013 the EPA Section of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention is committed to a comprehensive mental health and suicide prevention project leaded by Prof. Marco Sarchiapone in close collaboration with the UNICEF Kazakhstan Office and the Kazakhstan Government.

Different project components have been developed and some preliminary results have been discussed during the 1st International Conference “Promoting the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents”, organized by UNICEF in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Prof. Marco Sarchiapone was the President of the Conference that also received the co-sponsorship of the World Psychiatric Association and the patronage of the European Psychiatric Association and the European Brain Council.

The conference was held in January 19-20, 2018 at the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan and has met a huge and, in some ways, unexpected success. The Kazakhstan National Mental Health Care System and its director Dr. Nikolai Negaj, gave a fundamental contribution to this success.

Adolescent development and mental health issues were introduced by the UNICEF officer for ECAR, Dr. Nina Ferencic, the President-Elect of the WPA, Prof. Afzal Javed, the WHO regional officer for Europe, Dr. Dan Chisholm, the Co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research, Training and Methods Development in Suicide Prevention, Prof. Vladimir Carli.
Among the speakers there were several members of our Section: Prof. Marco Sarchiapone, Prof. Jorge-Lopez Castroman, Prof. Judit Balazs, Dr. Nikolai Negaj and Prof. Paul Plener (Conference Link).

The conference was attended by a wide range of participants: politicians, stakeholders, researchers, practitioners, educators and health promoters, who greatly enjoyed the opportunity to network and to learn from other experiences.

Many governmental and UNICEF delegations from some neighboring countries also took part in the conference (Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, etc.) with whom preliminary contacts have been established to launch similar and common initiatives in their respective countries.

These initiatives can count on the support of all the institutions participating at the conference, WPA, EPA, EBC, WHO, UNICEF, each of which is committed to making its own contribution in order to promote the mental health and, as a consequence, the wellbeing, in this part of the world, moving from the fruitful experience of Kazakhstan. For this purpose our Section is particularly and strongly involved in facilitating the process.


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Here you can find the posters: