It is with great pride and enthusiasm that the Asian Federation of Psychiatric Associations (AFPA) invites you to participate in its international congress to be held in Manila, Philippines, from January 24-26, 2018. The event, which will be locally hosted by the Philippine Psychiatric Association (PPA), is to coincide with the PPA’s 44th Annual Convention. It features the timely theme, “Advances, Impacts, & Future Directions of Psychiatry: The Asian Experience”, with the goal of portraying the distinctiveness of psychiatry in Asia. The program is poised to enhance and update the participants on scientific momentums, its impacts on current clinical practice, and future directions in the field, with a special focus on the Asian backdrop.
Despite psychiatry’s prevailing strengths, it is not without limitations and intimidations, and the Asian backdrop is no exception. Currently, it deals with its diverse concerns in mental health such as the dearth of mental health professionals, the lack or uneven distribution and delivery of mental health services, the inadequate financial resources allocated to mental health and ultimately, the absence of fundamental national mental health legislation. Thus, the confederation and sharing of proficiencies among Asian countries is imperative as we concurrently open ourselves to emerging global prospects and breakthroughs.
With such mental health issues firmly gaining increasing global recognition and importance in the overall health agenda, this three-day event serves as a timely occasion for us to examine and look into social, therapeutic, and etiological expansions in the psychiatric domain and consider how they influence our clinical practice today and beyond.
Finally, the strategic location of the congress at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) allows both international and local delegates to experience the vibrant heart of the Philippine capital. The venue city is a lively fusion of modernity and tradition, where world-class business centers and old walled cities alike are infused with Filipino warmth and hospitality. It is likewise a jump-off point (a mere 45-minute aerial journey) for the many islands for which the country is internationally famed for, including Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, and Bohol.