Message after EFPT Porto Forum 2015

Dear colleagues and friends,

It was a pleasure to host you this year, for the 23rd Forum of the European Federation of Psychiatric Trainees (EFPT), under Portugal’s presidency, that took place for the first time in Porto.

I am overwhelmed and really grateful for the feedback received of the Forum in Porto as: “inspirational”, “unforgettable” and very kindly mentioned as “best Forum ever”. Acknowledging the importance of international collaboration and partnerships, we had this year “Global mental health” as motto.

For the first time, we organized a Pre-Forum Course, on Leadership and Professional skills, directed by Professor Norman Sartorius and Professor Sir David Goldberg, for which we received applications from 15 countries from outstanding candidates. The participants had sessions about: How to make a presentation, How to prepare a proposal for a project, How to chair a session, How to produce and present a CV, How to present oneself for an elective post, How to proceed in an interview of a person seeking employment, How to answer questions of the press, How to read and write a paper; as well as lectures about How to direct a Psychiatry Hospital nowadays by Dr António Leuschner and the updates of the EU Joint Action for Mental Health and Wellbeing by Professor Caldas de Almeida. The participant that has been distinguished by her peers as “The most active” from this Course, Ekin Sönmez, stood later at the EFPT General Assembly for the position of EFPT President, and has been duly elected. This Course opened with a welcome session at the Rectory of the University of Porto, having Portuguese traditional music moments by “Tuna Feminina de Biomédicas” and “Grupo de Fados do Orfeão da Universidade do Porto”, and included a Visit followed by a dinner at Museum World of Discoveries.

The EFPT Forum started on June 22 with a Welcome Reception at Museum Henry – The Navigator with the lectures from Professor Norman Sartorius and Professor Sir David Goldberg on “Happiness and Mental health” followed by a Welcome Cocktail that has been kindly prepared by the users from Hospital de Magalhães Lemos – AFUA (Associação de Familiares, Utentes e Amigos do Hospital de Magalhães Lemos). Likewise, patients have also made and painted a Portuguese ceramic tile, “azulejo”, that has been offered to all Forum’ participants. The Forum proceeded in different venues: Hospital de Magalhães Lemos, at Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar of the University of Porto and at the Biblioteca Municipal Almeida Garrett at the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, with visits to Hospital Conde Ferreira, Centro Hospitalar de São João and Centro Hospitalar do Porto.

We developed a free mobile Forum app, so that participants were able to keep track of the busy agenda of the Programme. This included an EFPT alumni session, having the privilege to speak in person with several colleagues from Portugal that have been involved in the EFPT in the past years, as Luis Mendonça, João Gama Marques, Liliana Castro, and the previous Portuguese EFPT President from 1996, Joaquim Gago.

The Forum received for the first time participants from different regions of the world further than Europe, facilitating the opportunity to develop collaborative projects, being an excellent occasion to exchange experiences and share good practices. We hosted over 300 people in Porto for this Forum.

The Scientific Programme of the Forum, between 25 and 26 June was open to all junior doctors, medical students and mental health professionals from Portugal and beyond, interested in contributing for a multidisciplinary discussion on “Global mental health” with colleagues from other specialties and other fields, through symposiums, workshops and courses, making it a very dynamic conference, covering central topics as: psychiatry and society; workforce and human resources; cooperation in psychiatry; providing health care; social breakthroughs; the profile of a psychiatrist; child and adolescent psychiatry; the psychiatric interview; psychotherapy; suicide prevention; complaints, litigation and malpractice, and statistical methods in psychiatric research.

We sincerely appreciated the contributions from over 40 speakers, world-renowned professionals from different fields (stakeholders, psychiatrists, physicians, psychologists, nurses, carers, users, medical students, psychology students), such as Samuel Okpaku, Henrique Barros, Gustavo Carona, Alberto Silva, Luis Madeira, Marc Hermans, Maria Luísa Figueira, António Palha, Luiz Gamito, Joseph Zohar, Ana Giurgiuca, Kevin Holmes, Giulia de Ponte, Eszter Kovacs, Filomena Parra da Silva, Serafim Carvalho, Paula Castilho, Inês Guimarães, Olivier Andlauers, Rafael Psaras, Pedro Montellano, Filipa Palha, Maria Palha, Julian Beezhold, Corália Vicente, Hanna Cagney, Rui Tato Marinho, João Massano, Stefan Priebe, Tiago Vieira Pinto, Teresa Maia, Irena Stojadinovic, Marco Sarchiapone, Vladimir Carli, Brian Jacobs, Pedro Monteiro, Zulmira Correia; that travelled from different regions of the world to Porto and gave excellent talks at this Forum, which we are very proud of.

Likewise, we are grateful to all the institutions and individual people that have by different means supported our efforts.

At the Scientific Programme, participants had the opportunity to present the work they were doing, through oral and e-poster presentations. The Scientific Committee has analyzed them, having distinguished the three best presentations in each of the categories. The winners have received as prizes, oil paintings made by users of the Psychiatry Hospital.

We had a Special Issue about the Scientific Programme at the International Journal of Clinical Neurosciences and Mental Health that gathered the presentations by invited speakers, with the contributions from selected abstracts and e-posters from participants that are available online and were also provided through USB pen drives to participants. The sessions were recorded, and available to be seen.

The Award for the Best poster 2015 was given to the colleagues in Greece for their presentation entitled: “Consequences of the financial crisis on the greek health care system: a review on a greek tragedy”.

The EFPT Award of Excellence 2015, a prize for an excellent and innovative project in the field of psychiatry or psychotherapy, was awarded to Russia with a education project (a series of webinairs) in the field of liaison psychiatry.

We have prepared an array of scientific and social activities. One of these key happenings, was the festivity of São João, the patron Saint of Porto on the night of 23rd June, where we have spent an unforgettable nigh in a boat with fireworks, celebrating it with EFPT’ soft plastic hammers, according the Portuguese tradition. Then, the International Party, one of the highlights of the Forum, was dynamic, with a tour in a fantastic hop-on, hop-off bus journey, with the great performances from participating countries, as the unforgettable greek dance the beach’ sunset. We had Port of Honor at the City Hall, and a Port Wine Cellars visit with wine tasting, having plenty of opportunities to make toasts to your good health!

EFPT Porto Forum 2015 was truly a global meeting with presenters and attendees worldwide, in the lively city of Porto, making it an exceptional educational and social experience, organised in collaboration with the National Trainees Associations in Portugal, APIP (Associação Portuguesa de Internos de Psiquiatria) and ANIPIA (Associação Nacional de Internos de Psiquiatria da Infância e da Adolescência).

As President of this Annual Forum, I want to deeply thank all the members of the Local Organising Committee: Cátia, Fernando, João, Joana, Mariana, Sara, Sarah, Sérgio, Tânia, Tiago and Vítor for their contribution in organising this impressive Forum.

I am happy to know that you had a great time in Porto and I am looking forward to meet you at next year’s Forum!

With very best wishes,
Mariana Pinto da Costa