SAN FRANCISCO — This year’s theme of the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting is “Revitalize Psychiatry: Disrupt, Include, Engage and Innovate.”
“I’m especially proud to have selected that as the theme and I think it is well reflected in the programming,” Altha Stewart, MD, president of the APA, said during a press preview. “This year, APA has moved in directions we think that better serve and engage our membership, allow us to be much more collaborative on the global scene as it relates to mental health and we’ve made efforts to expand our work in the area of diversity and inclusion.”
Approximately 15,000 experts from the U.S. and countries around the globe are expected to attend the meeting, and there will be nearly 1,000 posters, over 650 sessions, more than 170 speakers and 38 courses.
To name a few, there will be sessions dedicated to addiction psychiatry; child and adolescent psychiatry; forensic psychiatry; geriatric psychiatry; psychopharmacology; health reform and mental health parity of care and opioids, according to Saul Levin, MD, MPA, CEO and medical director of the APA. Topics such as burnout and wellbeing in psychiatry; diversity, equity and inclusion; mental health and criminal justice will be featured at the meeting as well.
To honor the 175th anniversary of the founding of organization, APA will also have sessions focusing on the history in the minority and underrepresented areas of psychiatry, including African Americans, Latinos, women and LGBTQ.
“The American Psychiatric Association meeting is one of the largest psychiatric associations in the world in terms of conferences to go to where you really get a broad swath of every particular discipline, interest and caucus around psychiatry and how you both work within your country and worldwide. It’s a forum where everyone can find something,” Levin said.
Also, the results of the new annual national poll on mental health, which examined Americans’ feelings on anxiety, using social media and mental health in the workplace, will be presented.
Valerie Jarret, former Senior Advisor to President Obama, who was involved in passing the Affordable Care Act will speak during the Opening Session.
This year, topics featured in the Mental Health Innovation Zone — a place for young experts in psychiatry to present and explore new technologies for improving the field — will include virtual reality for mental health, the role of artificial intelligence, digital therapeutics and other opportunities to use technology in improving access and quality of mental health services, Stewart said during the preview.
Compared to last year, more sessions will focus on topics Stewart addressed during her presidency, including working with early career psychiatrists, America’s role in global mental health efforts, diversity equity and inclusion.
As for hot topics, the program will also feature climate change and mental health, Jacqueline Feldman, MD, Annual Meeting Scientific Program Chair, said in the briefing.
Because there is a plethora of sessions for people to attend, Feldman suggested attendees download the app to best determine what they want to see.
The meeting takes place May 18 to 22 in San Francisco. Healio Psychiatry will be onsite throughout the meeting, so stay tuned for the latest news and developments, videos, physician perspectives and more. – by Savannah Demko