Israel to host first-ever international PTSD conference

September 15, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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A major International conference focused on the diagnosis and management of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related conditions will be held in Jerusalem next year.

hadassahThe International Conference on Trauma and Mental Health 2017 brings together some of the world’s leading trauma and mental health specialists who will present the latest research and outcomes achieved in the areas of trauma, attachment and grief.

Intending participants are invited to submit abstracts of proposed oral and poster presentations for inclusion in the program.

In calling for submissions, Alissa Woolf, Executive Director of Hadassah Australia, said these can cover any topic relevant to the field of trauma and mental health. Details are available from the conference website www.traumaandmentalhealthconference.org/

Speaking on behalf of conference organisers, Ms Woolf said: “Trauma is ubiquitous and is experienced in different forms and with different prevalence rates globally.

“War, terrorism, torture, natural disasters, road and workplace accidents, domestic violence and child abuse all have far-reaching immediate and long-term psychological consequences.”

A call for abstracts of presentations is being made to clinicians including GPs, psychiatrists, social workers, paediatricians, psychologists, academics and researchers as well as administrators and policy makers.

The deadline for submission for abstracts of oral presentations is 15 December, 2016, and poster presentations is 16 January, 2017.

Ron Finkel, President of Hadassah Australia, said that PTSD was little known at the turn of last century. He said men returning from war were often misunderstood, ostracised and even court-marshalled as a result of their actions.

“As the century progressed, so too did our understanding that PTSD had far more wide-reaching affects than those caught up in military conflict,” Mr Finkel said.

“Today, people of all ages are presenting with PTSD relating to domestic violence, road trauma, terrorism, sexual assault, workplace accidents, and natural disasters such floods or bushfires.

“While many communities routinely face some or all of these events, Israel is particularly advanced in its response and treatment. It’s appropriate therefore that the first major international conference of its kind is held in Israel and with the support of Hadassah.”

Ms Woolf said the conference will coincide with Yom Yerushalayim on 23 May.
“It is always a good time to visit Jerusalem, but Spring is a highlight in the eternal city,” she said. “The conference will be held immediately prior to the festival of Shavuot, so if you happen to be visiting Israel, it could be timely to incorporate the conference into your itinerary.”

Among the speakers are eminent researchers who have published world-leading research on the prevalence of mental health problems and pathways to care and recovery in veteran, military and emergency service personnel.

These include Col (Ret). Charles W. Hoge, who directed the U.S. military’s premiere psychiatry and neuroscience research program at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and published leading research on US servicemen following deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan; Professor Alexander C. McFarlane, from The Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies at The University of Adelaide, Australia who lead Australia’s research into the prevalence of mental health problems across the Australian Defence Force; and Professor Zahava Solomon, from The Bob Shapell School of Social Work at Tel Aviv University, Israel’s leading researcher in military related PTSD.

Speakers who are leaders in the field of trauma, attachment, grief and loss include Professor Mario Mikulincer of the School of Psychology at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel; Professor Richard Bryant from the School of Psychiatry at the University of NSW, Australia; Professor Arieh Shalev from the Department of Psychiatry at the New York Langone Medical Center will present ground-breaking work in the area of improving risk detection for PTSD; and Professor Hermona Soreq, from the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will provide guidance as to key neurobiological advances in the area of traumatic stress.

The conference is being held under the auspices of Hadassah Australia in association with Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, AUSiMED, Monash and Melbourne Universities and Phoenix Australia.

Details on the speakers, program, registration, accommodation and extra-curricular activities are available at www.traumaandmentalhealthconference.org

The conference will  be held from 21-23 May, 2017.

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