Distinguished Members of the International and Russian Organizing Committees, and the Scientific Committee,
I am deeply honored to welcome you to the II Congress on Mental Health: Meeting the Needs of the XXI Century!
The first Congress, held in Moscow in 2016, has created a platform for an open professional dialogue along with an exchange of views and experiences of the world’s leading experts, scientists, researchers, and practitioners united by a common goal — that is to improve the quality of services in the field of mental health.
The forthcoming event is intended to discuss the role that education plays in solving problems related to mental health. The philosophical nature of mental health and its connection with the fundamental aspects of human life define the versatile nature of the modern educational system in the field. This system features multi-layered structure of educators including both specialists from various sciences and sectors of national economics as well as non-specialists - mental health care users, their families and NGOs representing their interests. Our primary goal is to create favorable conditions for their effective collaboration on the base of mutual understanding.
To achieve this goal, it is necessary to dramatically improve the professional education where to we are to integrate the latest scientific findings in psychology, psychotherapy, functional neurology, neuroscience as well as the best medical and non-medical practices. I speak about diploma- and post-diploma continuous education through the whole professional life.
We are to develop also new approaches to psychoeducation for the users of psychiatric and psychological services, their families and other groups which take care of them at all stages of the treatment and the rehabilitation. The psychoeducation should include raising awareness regarding one's own condition in accordance with the bioethics requirements and the level of agreement with the treatment plan (compliance). This will contribute also to progress in overcoming the stigma of mental illness and various anti-psychiatric sentiments.
Finally, we are to increase participation in mental health learning where specialists, non-specialists, policy makers and people with mental problems aware of the benefits of a high quality and easily accessible mental health education. Strategies for improving participation in and awareness of mental health education should address understanding of specific age, gender, social demands as well as professional settings of each target group.
The Congress enables us to discuss the content and methods of the modern educational process, exchange experiences and, finally, prepare the recommendations for improving the system of education in mental health which could be included in our national agendas.
The Congress is expected to become a truly great academic and social event. I would like to note that this has only become possible through the effective team work of our partners including Russian and international professional organizations as well as individuals, which generously shared their knowledge and experience. May I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude and deep appreciation to the members of the Russian and International Organizing Committees, the Scientific Committee for their invaluable contribution to the preparation of the Congress program. I am particularly pleased to highlight that we have been successfully collaborating with many of them for years and this is a great honor for us.
We look forward to meeting you in Moscow! We will make every effort to ensure you enjoy Russian hospitality, friendly atmosphere and the beauty of historical sites in Moscow.