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Prof Dinesh Bhugra voted President-Elect of the WPA

Professor Dinesh Bhugra has been voted President-Elect of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) for 2014-2017. The announcement was made at the WPA World Congress in Buenos Aires.  He is the first psychiatrist from the UK to be elected to this post.

Prof Bhugra is Chair of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity at the Health Service and Population Research Department (HSPRD) at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King’s College London. His research interests are cultural psychiatry, psychosexual medicine, pathways into psychiatric care, deliberate self-harm and primary care. 

In standing as a candidate for President, Prof Bhugra identified a number of key work intentions. These included increasing patient and carer empowerment, improving training and education in order to boost recruitment and retention in psychiatry and supporting mental health policy development especially for low and middle income countries. 

Prof Bhugra says: ‘As a cultural psychiatrist, I am aware of differences and similarities across societies and cultures and am committed to each learning from the other. It is crucial that low and middle income countries get their fair share of support in developing policy, training, education and service development, ensuring good quality services. My priority is to support the development of local resources, which are both culturally and financially deliverable. My journey started in India and having been trained in the UK, I am fully conscious of differing needs across cultures.

‘There is no health without mental health and I will work with individual societies, members and policy makers to ensure that psychiatry as a profession thrives and succeeds in delivering services of which we will be proud. I will ensure we work across medical disciplines and are a part of education and delivery of services in primary care and general hospital psychiatry.’ 

Prof Bhugra has authored or co-authored over 200 papers and  book chapters and is co-author or editor of over 30 books.  His recent book, ‘Mental Health of Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ was shortlisted for the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Psychiatry Books of the Year.

The WPA is an association of national psychiatric societies aimed to increase knowledge and skills necessary for work in the field of mental health and the care for the mentally ill. The association represents more than 200,000 psychiatrists across 117 countries. 
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