Welcome to new UEMS Psychiatry Section Officers blog! We hope that this new feature will improve communications with delegates and provide a forum for discussion.
Ahead of our meeting in St Petersburg Honorary Secretary, Torsten Jacobsen, interviewed Russian Delegate Alexey Pavlichenko about Russia’s relationship with the Section:
TJ: How well is the Section known among Russian Psychiatrists?
AP: I suppose that just only few Russian psychiatrists knew anything about the UEMS Section of Psychiatry back in 2014. Since that I have published 3 articles about the UEMS in the peer-reviewed Russian psychiatric journals as well as I was giving two talks about the UEMS during our national Psychiatric Congress. It appears that nowadays far more Russian psychiatrists do know about the UEMS, especially among policy makers in psychiatry.
TJ: From your knowledge of the work done by the Section of Psychiatry and the Standing Committee on Training, what is of most relevance to Russian Psychiatry?
AP: Certainly, yes. Some topics discussed in the meetings that I attended during the last three years were relevant to Russian psychiatrists too including all issues regarding psychotherapy and what should we do while facing with psychiatric patients from other countries and cultures, and how to teach sexology to residents.
TJ: Do you have any suggestions on topics for future meetings?
AP: I am not sure that I am very familiar with all the topics that had been discussed at previous meetings. The field of my interest in psychiatry includes the issues of classification of mental disorders and I am involved in the field trials of ICD-11 in Russia. To date, Russian psychiatrists are still using our own approach to classification of mental disorder which is based on the studying of the particular stages of mental disorders rather than the simple list of symptoms mentioned in DSM or ICD. Anyways, I would suggest to discuss some issues of classifications of mental disorders including cultural aspects in one of the future meetings.
TJ: Is there anything from the work already done by the Section or the Standing Committee on Training that we should advertise better in the international community?
AP: I suppose that we should focus more on the importance of discrimination and stigmatization of our patients. To do this we have to become the advocates of our profession and be involved in the different activities, including not only providing the best treatment for our patients but giving public talks about mental health, be in touch with journalists and explain the importance of the mental health issues for society.
I would like to thank the UMS Section of Psychiatry for the warm welcome that was given to me. I do hope that the UEMS delegates will enjoy their visit to Russia next week and will enjoy our beautiful country that has quite a rich and interesting psychiatric history.