Welcome to the Congress

Dear participants
of the Congress on Mental Health!
If we look at the development of our civilization since ancient times, we can see that breakthroughs, achievements, conquests and discoveries overturning the course of history were often committed by people who, by a layman’s standards, can hardly be called normal. The concepts of mental norm and pathology are disputable, and I believe that the world will lose many of its colors, if by any chance there is a "magic pill", which can help all people to suddenly become "normal", averagely complacent. But I also see how much effort, time and emotions people waste sometimes on useless stress that literally destroys their lives. How many geniuses and creators suffered from the fact that the society was not well disposed towards them.
I see the purpose and meaning of our work not in how to cure them all, but in how to create a visual and informational environment, which would not drive people out of their mind. And the second thing, which is very important in my opinion, is the fact that every person who feels unable to cope with his or her life, must know exactly where he or she should seek help. And the people whose professional duty is to provide this assistance must be well enough prepared and humanly sympathetic and generous. 
As for us, workers of culture and the media, especially being recognized as bearers of authoritative opinion, perhaps it is us who need to acknowledge their responsibility for creating a healthy spiritual environment in society. One does not need to simplify reality, dividing it into uniquely black and white. But the role of people of art is to make sense of the world, make it clear, raise issues of common concern and set the discourse for discussing them. This is what we are going to deal with. And we will try to be mentally healthier and richer all together.
Sergey A. Solovyov

The greatest Russian film director, screenwriter, producer, People’s Artist of Russia

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