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SSPC 40th Annual Meeting A Joint Meeting with Hong Fook Mental Health Association

April 25, 2019 - April 27, 2019

Engagement, Empowerment, Equity: From Theory to Practice

Deadline to submit an application for a trainee fellowship is November 1, 2018.

At the 2018 annual meeting, we engaged with the abstract question of “What is culture?”, with perspectives on this question coming from the realms of research, training, clinical service, and policy. At the 2019 annual meeting, we will explore how to move from these theoretical concepts to practical applications. How do concepts like culture, diversity, equity, or social determinants become operationalized and engaged in research, service, and training? How are they incorporated into treatment plans? How can concepts that are clearly delineated in theory be adapted to complex or incompletely understood real-world situations for the sake of clinical and policy expediency? To what extent do such adaptations threaten the original concepts’ value as guides for action?

At the core of this theme is the need to define what we mean by engagement, empowerment, and equity. Engagement could refer to more active inclusion of those with lived experience in the design of service, research, and training activities. It could refer to engagement of clinical providers and researchers in community, policy, and advocacy activities. What are the roles of clinicians and researchers in the myriad possibilities for engagement, and what are the stakes? Who are the “targets” of empowerment activities, and what are the goals? How can clinicians and researchers best contribute to achieving equity – for whom, via what avenues, and to what end? Many psychiatry and psychology training programs have begun engaging with concepts of equity and diversity as potential alternatives to engaging with the concept of culture. How should cultural psychiatrists and psychologists approach these issues?

The 2019 annual meeting also marks the 40th anniversary of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture. Several sessions of the meeting will be devoted to celebrating this history, looking back on where we have come from, and asking where we should go in future. In particular, what are the historical roots that brought into being this Society, as well as other cultural psychiatry and cross-cultural psychology endeavors? How has the Society’s mission changed over the years? And how do we continue to make cultural psychiatry relevant in a in a world in which the value of inclusion and the impact of social differences are increasingly the focus of debate?


Marriott Bloor Hotel Toronto, Ontario, Candida
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