Welcome words by Thomas W. Kallert

welcoming also users and survivors of psychiatry as well as critical mental health professionals [underlining by Peter Lehmann]

Original pleases see www.wpa2007dresden.org/welcome/welcome.asp


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

It is a great honour for the German psychiatric community to welcome psychiatrists, other mental health professionals, specialists in public mental health and medical ethics, legal experts, users and relatives and their organizations, and (mental) health politicians of the world in Dresden in summer 2007. With its rich cultural heritage and a very special political background in the last century, Dresden is a perfect place to comprehensively review an ethically and historically sensitive theme which seems essential to psychiatry, but is questioned by the users and survivors of psychiatry and mental health professionals: coercive treatment.

Under this general theme, the conference will explore every clinical, legal, and ethical aspect of this issue relevant for the provision of mental health care. Further, it will combine users' and professionals' views on this issue, and it will present the most recent research results and initiatives in this human rights area of mental health care as well as the experiences of users and survivors of psychiatry. It is the hope of the conference organizers that this scientific event will not only show the currently existing significant international variation of different aspects of coercive treatment. In addition, it should serve as an opportunity that should stimulate equality of healthcare opportunities as well as increase the consumer focus in this area.

Thus, all submissions, including those critical of coercion, referred to the outlined aims of the conference are most welcome, and we expect your most valuable contributions to the scientific program. This will turn the conference in an important and successful scientific event, and we kindly invite you to participate.

Professor Dr. Thomas W. Kallert

Chairman of the Organizing Committee