|Ricardo Guinea, Chair Organising Committee WAPR Madrid-2018.|
WAPR is an international organization that groups more than 30 national branches. It was created in 1986 by a group of veterans psychiatrists of social psychiatry with the mission of expanding the practice of Psychosocial Rehabilitation to improve care for people with mental illness; an approach that initially sought to eliminate obsolete and depressing mental health practices, and today traces, studies and raises global initiatives and technical models aimed at the participation and social inclusion of people.
A World Congress like the one that we plan to celebrate in Madrid is the maximum scientific and social global event of our discipline, the Psychosocial Rehabilitation of people with mental illness. It is the largest space for discussion and technical and scientific elaboration, the place of exchange that allows us to put our conceptions in perspective and discuss them collectively with the world's leading experts on the subject and, not least, a place for the proclamation of human and civic values that for some decades, and in progressive evolution, guide the transformations that we propose and that we consider necessary.
To receive the commission of the organization is undoubtedly an honor, which recognizes the great trajectory of our country (Spain) in the last 20 years; and it is a great organizational, technical and economic challenge, a challenge of great magnitude, which I am sure, with the contribution of our professionals, our social leaders and the entities involved in this field, we can certainly face successfully.
And it will also be the culmination of the contribution of a generation of Spanish professionals, who in the last 20 years have given unselfishly their best effort and many hours of effort apart from their work dedication to this noble cause.
At the global level, we are at a very special moment in our discipline.
In recent years:
- awareness of the importance of mental health has grown,
- an enormous amount of research has emerged in the biological, psychological and social fields,
- great innovations have been made in many countries - for example, in Spain; and in others the ground is being prepared for them to occur.
- there is proven experience of effective technical alternatives to help affected people to live their lives in the community, under conditions of standardization and with opportunities for social participation.
However, there is still much to do and much to discuss. At the global level:
- Access to services is still a challenge in many countries; is something you need to remember.
- The transition from the old models to the new ones is an ongoing process, which is being implemented at a global level in an unequal way, and which still requires a lot of energy and leadership.
- At the purely scientific level, it is still necessary to advance and improve our understanding of the complex interrelation of the biological, psychological and social planes in that human condition that we call mental illness.
- And, as you can see in the specialized media and also in more and more in the media, there are a number of hot topics.
o Further research is needed on the role of drugs and the development of the best pharmacological strategies based on the experience and value they bring to the lives of the people who use them.
o We need to better understand the emergence of diseases and the best strategies for early intervention.
o There is a large ongoing debate on legal issues related to protecting the legal capacity of individuals, and affecting the rights of those affected.
o The latest perspectives from the point of view of Human Rights require a responsible review of historically accepted practices (such as coercive treatments, physical restraints and other practices that have been used for decades and considered appropriate as security measures).
o The so-called Recovery Model puts on the table issues related to the design of institutions and interventions, to study how they support and not hamper the process of recovery of the person.
In order to address these and many other issues, we will convene this Congress, where we will have first-class speakers, which will be a forum for meeting all stakeholders in this discipline: professionals, families, caregivers and users.
We will announce new developments as they are produced. We are sure it will be an excellent call.