27th Nordic Psychiatric Congress

Welcome address

Dear colleagues, other participants and guests.

Welcome to the 27th Nordic Psychiatric Congress in Reykjavik.

The theme of this meeting is "Promoting Psychiatric Care". To achieve this necessary goal professionals from all sectors within psychiatry and related disciplines have been encouraged to attend this meeting to present their research and exchange ideas. We have also called upon a few leading experts from other countries to deliver 2 out of 8 plenary lectures and to teach in 3 out of the 4 workshops on offer.

The development of evidence-based care and continuity of services is as important now as ever during a time of financial restraint within most health sectors in our countries. Politicians have to realise that the stigma which used to deter many individuals suffering from mental disorder to seek care is rapidly deteriorating. The only way to meet the increased burden on services is to reorganise and strengthen the delivery of treatment and guidance to patients and their families at all levels of health and social care.

Last year was a landmark year in schizophrenia genetics - at last - and the integration of psychotherapy and neuroscience has already become a fact as will be shown in some of the 28 symposia organised for the congress. Eight free paper presentations will be held on selected topics and nearly 100 posters presented in two poster sessions. Old age psychiatry will be specifically addressed on the 13.8 in the pre-congress meeting of the Nordic Association for Psychiatric Epidemiology (NAPE) and 8 out of 28 symposia address various topics in child and adolescent psychiatry.

The organising committee wants to thank everyone who has been involved with organising what by all counts looks like a very successful Nordic Psychiatric Congress. A congress of this size and quality is the fruit of true "Nordisk Samarbete". There is no question in our minds that these meetings are needed as they promote co-operation in research, friendships and exchange of knowledge at all levels within psychiatry and related disciplines. We also want to acknowledge all our sponsors for their generous support.

We strongly encourage our foreign guests to explore the many natural wonders and contrasts of the nature of Iceland during their visit, to form research and clinical alliances and, last but not least, to share ideas and form friendships with other Nordic colleagues.

On behalf of the organising committee,

Sigurður Páll Pálsson, Engilbert Sigurðsson
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