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Campaign goes to USA

08 November 2010

Following the launch of the College’s £500 million fundraising campaign, alumni and friends in the United States will have the opportunity to hear first hand from the Principal about the Campaign, in particular the Neurosciences & mental health theme, at a series of topical debates tackling war and mental health issues.

The debates entitled ‘Are we losing the battle for mental health?’ begin this evening in Washington D.C., then are followed by the second in New York on Wednesday 10 November and in Boston on Friday 12 November. The Principal, Professor Rick Trainor, will host the New York and Boston events.

They will be chaired by one of the world’s leading experts in the mental health of military personnel Professor Simon Wessely, Vice-Dean (Academic Psychiatry) and Head of the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry and Director of the King’s Centre for Military Health Research at King’s College London.

He will be joined by a number of distinguished panellists drawn from American universities, the health services and the Armed Forces.

Professor Wessely said: ‘The US and the UK have now been allies in Afghanistan and Iraq for twice as long as we fought together in World War II. We have struggled against the same enemy, facing the same risks, in the same terrain, and latterly taking the same proportional casualties. Yet there have also been some differences in the impact of the campaign on the health of our Forces.

‘In these debates, we will look at what we have in common, some of these differences, how we manage these problems, and what can we learn from each other that we cannot always learn from ourselves.’

Professor Wessely is also Honorary Consultant Advisor in Psychiatry to the British Army. In the mid 1990s he obtained support from the US Department of Defence for the first UK epidemiological study of what was then known as Gulf War Syndrome. This was followed by a series of studies, some with US support, on issues such as Forces Health Protection, psychological injury, reactions to chemical/biological terrorism, military health,  screening, psychological support for military personnel and population resilience. 


The Washington debate is entitled Iraq and Afghanistan: What is the cost of War?  Trauma? Anxiety? Change? and is being held at The National Press Club at 18.00.

The New York debate is entitled Battle in the Big Apple: What is the New York State of Mind? Aging population? Terror? Yankees? and is being held at the New York Academy of Science at 18.00

The Boston debate is entitled Veteran’s mental health: Is their battle just beginning? Suicide? Shock? Support? and is being held at The Harvard Club of Boston at 18.00.

For details about the debates and the panellists, see:

The King’s College London Fundraising Campaign was publically launched at an international event on 3 November. This campaign, World questions| King’s answers, spearheads a new era in university fundraising as the money raised will fund research to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges ranging from providing for an ever-ageing population to conflict resolution, to better treatments for cancer.

King’s aims to raise £500 million by 2015 – and to date has raised nearly £200 million - for three key research areas where King’s is exceptionally well-placed to make a substantial contribution to finding answers: Neuroscience & mental health, Leadership & society, and Cancer.  See:


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