This new working party was established at the last Wonca Council meeting in Buenos Aries in October 2006. The Wonca Working Party on Mental Health will serve as a focus for the development of mental health issues for Wonca worldwide. This Working Party provides the opportunity for the discipline of Primary Care Mental Health to become a priority for Wonca and the Wonca family, especially as mental health issues have a major impact on many of our day to day encounters with our patients.
The mission and vision of the Working Party on Mental Health is to improve mental health and healthcare around the world by providing a universal gold standard of care for mental health through empowerment of primary care and in collaboration with all interested stakeholders.
Current objectives are:
· To serve as a focus to stimulate and promote standards of excellence in the primary care management of mental health, consistent with patient and professional values and with reference to evidence based health care
· To promote the concept of mental health & well-being
· To promote and develop mental health research activities in primary care & the primary care interface
· To hold scientific meetings, which may include sessions and workshops, during Wonca Regional and World conferences, to present original papers and to address broader educational issues through discussion, training and debate
· To promote and develop patient information about mental health issues
· To develop and promote appropriate literature for primary care professionals using a variety of resources, including Wonca Online
· To promote the discipline of primary care mental health world-wide through collaborative working within Wonca, NGO’s, government organisations, patient groups & other medical colleges
· To address the issue of stigma associated with mental health difficulties.
We plan to undertake the following activities:
· Guideline development on mental health issues
· Scientific presentations on mental health issues
· Advice to Wonca & affiliated Colleges on mental health issues
· Participation in Wonca activities and conferences with a focus on the mental health agenda
· Working with WHO to develop a resource book on the integration of mental health into primary care
· Provision of a regular Working Party newsletter and educational materials
· Supporting the mental health curriculum in primary care education
· Organising regular online Primary Care Mental Health Grand Rounds
· Developing and supporting postgraduate accreditation programmes for General Practitioners with a Special Interest (GPwSI) in Mental Health
· Early 2007 – Wonca Working Party on Mental Health Meeting to discuss and plan implementation timetable for our stated objectives and preparation for Wonca World conference in Singapore.
· Singapore: 24th - 27th July 2007 – This will be an important milestone for our new Working Party. I would like to encourage as many of you as possible to join us in Singapore for the Wonca World Conference, where we will be holding a pre-conference workshop for all our members and interested parties. If there are any issues or topics you think we should cover in Singapore please get back to me with your suggestions. We will also use the opportunity to make a mental health declaration at the end of this meeting. I would be grateful if you could let me know the key topics this declaration should cover.
· Paris: 17th - 20th October 2007 - We will be presenting a session on 'Recent Advances in Primary Care Mental Health.' We plan to hold both theoretical and practical skills sessions and hope that as many of you as possible will be able to attend and contribute to these sessions. If you have any ideas about the practical skills you would like the teaching session to be focussed on, please let us know.
· Granada, Spain: 19th – 21st June 2008 – WPA thematic conference on ‘Depression and Relevant Psychiatric Conditions in Primary Care’ (www.wpa2008granada.org)
The Working party requires representation from individuals interested in improving mental health standards, representatives from Colleges and all Wonca regions. If you would like to support or contribute to this Working Party please register your interest by contacting:
Dr Gabriel Ivbijaro
The Forest Road medical Centre PMS Mental Health Practice
354 – 358 Forest Road
Tel: 020 8925 7854
Fax: 020 8521 6505