We are glad to introduce the newly founded Bulgarian Young Psychiatrists’ Association (BYPA). BYPA is an independent, non-governmental organization founded by a group of enthusiastic psychiatric trainees and early career psychiatrists in 2018. The idea of creating such an organization in Bulgaria is not new, but it took quite a lot of time to make it real. The inspiration for development of association of psychiatric trainees in our country is definitely closely linked to interactions with EFPT members.
The first sparks appeared in 2012 when one of the founders was inspired by an encounter with EFPT board members (Florian Riese, EFPT president at that time, and Olga Kazakova, IT secretary) during the ECNP School in Oxford. Following this, connections with MENTA were established. Two Bulgarian observer delegates were present at the EFPT Forum in 2013 and 2014. Later, in 2015, another of the founding members met Ekin Sönmez (President-elect at that time) and Howard Ryland (Secretary General) at the EPA Summer School. In 2017 another two new psychiatric trainees went to the Young Psychiatrists’ Network Meeting in Prague and got introduced to the concept of EFPT. Back in Bulgaria we all met and decided to create an organization in order to develop a national network of young psychiatrists. We were all determined that Bulgaria should not continue to be a black spot on the EFPT map. Our goals are to act on the public stigma against mental disorders and psychiatry itself, to improve the quality of training and to create strong internal and external links with international trainee organizations. With the priceless help and support of our friends, families and teachers, after numerous bureaucratic struggles the five of us officially registered the Association under the Bulgarian law.
The current executive committee consists of President, Vice-President and a third member. As full members, we target all trainees in General Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Forensic Psychiatry and young psychiatrists (under 40 years or less than 5 years after completing residency) with these specialties in our country. Our logo is inspired by motifs of Bulgarian traditional embroidery. The fragmentation of the embroidery in the logo symbolizes the disintegration of mental functions in severe mental illnesses.
Our next steps are to involve all the trainees and early career psychiatrist in the cause of shaping a better future for us and our patients. More information is available at our website. You can also contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
President of BYPA