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Newsletter February 2005

Date: 23 June 2006

PRESIDENT’S COLUMN

Dear Colleagues,

I bring greetings from the new committee of the MPA for the term 2004/2006. I apologize for the delay in coming out with the Newsletter. Some of you have been asking me: “Many moons come; newsletter no come; how come?” Well, here we come with news and views.

Many events have overtaken us with astonishing rapidity in the past few months. The most notable is the tsunami that struck our region. I must say that the mental health profession has responded magnificently to this crisis. Many psychiatrists and psychologists and paramedics have volunteered to go to the north of the peninsula to help out. Others have gone to Aceh and Sri Lanka. Some of our colleagues in the north have held training sessions for lay counselors. We have held a training session in Kuala Lumpur, and plan to hold more. A protem National Committee for Mental Health Response to Disasters has been formed and the MPA President co-chairs this committee. At the behest of this committee, I have been to Aceh (under the auspices of MERCY Malaysia) to assess needs with Prof Hatta Shahrom’s assistance, and have submitted a report to the committee as well as to the World Psychiatric Association (WPA). The WPA is meeting in Cairo with sponsors next week to discuss resource allocation. I will be presenting a paper at the WPA Regional Conference in Athens on the Malaysian response to the tsunami. Our plan is not only to assist our Indonesian colleagues but also to provide (according to their request) training sessions for paramedics and others to improve mental health services in Aceh for the long-term. A similar approach will be taken with Sri Lanka. I would like to thank all members for helping, and seek more assistance. Could you also write to the Newsletter about what has been done in your area so that we are aware of these activities? It will be good to record these.

  arrowNewsletter February 2005 (English - pdf) [164 Kb]



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