Volunteering & International Psychiatry Special Interest Group (VIPSIG)
Committee Meeting Minutes Friday 14th August 2015
Royal College of Psychiatrists, London
Peter Hughes (Chair), Mandip Jheeta (Secretary), Mohammed Abou-Saleh, Ayesha Ahmad, Ben Baig, Sally Browning Heather Dipple, Louay El-Tagy, Gabriel Kogo, Raman Rashwany, Howard Ryland, Ashok Singh, Sophie Thomson
Mohammed El-Tahir, Lena Jawad, Ana Miorelli, Ruairi Page
No specific matters arising. Proceed to general meeting.
Minutes of last meeting (29.5.15)
Agreed to try one Birmingham meeting/ yr. Possibly Jan/ Apr 2016 TBC
PH now co-opted member of College Human Rights Committee
Confirmed regular schedule for VIPISG committee meetings: 1:30pm executive, 2:00pm general meeting
Feedback from Chair, Peter Hughes
VIPISG session at College International Congress went well
Myanmar training went extremely well. Yangoon & Mandaly training went very well. Nwè Winn Thein has organized funding for Burmese Prof of Psychiatry to visit UK. Training will be repeated in January for GPs, and also Train the Trainers course. mhGAP translated into Myanmar language. Meredith Newland did 3 month proper pre & post evaluation. As VIPSIG generally we may need to do better at evaluating pre & post for our events. Hopefully, will be able to collaborate with Meredith on this.
PH doing webinar on humanitarian work 2.9.15 16:00
All interested members encouraged to volunteer for College volunteer scheme
PH will be going to mhGAP October WHO meeting Geneva
PH’s survey preliminary findings:
Strong finding people weren’t getting enough preparation before trip or support afterward.
Volunteering is hugely helpful in various skills and transcultural skills gained
A lot of people didn’t know about volunteering scheme even though they had gone out with scheme,
People should be aware benefits of scheme- funding, college stamp/ approval etc
HD not receiving info anymore from college volunteer scheme
Pan-London psychiatry trainees conference in November 2015. VIPSIG could do a session
HR has done podcasts for newsletter. College has a machine, and the publications department do the editing. College also has a camera. HR thinks we could do a podcast, easy to do. No cost for college. Contact is Julia Burnside in College. HD happy to an Ethiopia podcast, ST also re Myanmar. Volunteers for this most welcome
AM sends apologies
BB believes huge gap globally for research skills. Feels research often hard to set up. Training about research skills in medical schools
AA: Has ethics background, can do research article. Research agenda for VIPSIG needs working out more.
PH: Evaluation of international projects may be best
ST: good angle would be about what LAMICs can teach HICs, and finding solutions to impossible
Turning the world upside down website recommended
RR: Basic standards for ethics in LAMICs could be helpful
AA’s input on ethics would be much appreciated and expertise. AA has done some ethics committee standards work in Palestine in paediatrics.
MAS: Could highlight what high income countries can/ do learn from LAMIC
Also investigating researching mhGAP training and its impact. Some work ongoing in Sri Lanka.
Feels what VIPSIG is doing could be evaluated. Could be significant untapped area.
Centre for Global Mental Health have asked PH to teach on their introduction module
BB: highlighted difficulties of start to finish evaluation. Research is a large piece of work
ST: Therefore: audit could be good, relatively simple with significant impact
Encouraging recruitment into psychiatry
Global MH related events very popular amongst med studs/ FYs, often they are unaware psychiatry has good volunteering opportunities, encourages recruitment into psychiatry
Historically, we have had good trainee attendance at VIPSIG mhGAP events, and quite a few medical students
We will promote upcoming mhGAP training to students & trainees
If another conference, could even pitch at trainee level esp. foundation doctors
HR: expanding FY placements could be good opportunities. Could do FY specific events
Could have global mental health themes for university psychiatry summer schools
MJ: Somaliland presentation has gone down well at Universities’ national PsychSoc conference
Went well last year. 2015/16 prize to be advertised soon
MedMinds Birmingham Uni prize winning essay highlighted as UK volunteering & encouraging recruitment into psychiatry
mhGAP humanitatrian version started in Iraq and Liberia, more narrative than prev mhGAP manual
RR: Potential for Iraq links if there is a need, may have potential links
MAS & RR: HIG numerous potential for various middle Easy countries inc. Iraq, Lebanon. Iraq subcommittee may be able to contribute
Another edition due next week
Website & social media
Need to do redirection from old website
Maybe add some explanation on difference about VIPSIG & volunteers programme
Need to add webinar
Needs mhGAP manual & humanitarian version links on website
Finance & fundraising
Film making about volunteering could be valuable investment. We have budget. Would need professional support. Spirituality SIG making video
Martin Elphick’s wife Deidre made a Malawi/SMMHEP project film
International volunteer activities
Try to publicise MHIN- mental health innovation network, a collaboration between LSHTM & WHO Geneva. Could promote the webinars. Their webinars are very good, accessed through MHIN website.
MAS: Hoffman report: American Psychological Association collaborating with Pentagon and torture techniques. MAS to contact PH to bring up in Human Rights Committee for potential College statement about saying MH professionals should be against use of torture.
Discussed if College should have statement on domestic violence, FGM, unmodified ECT, chaining, beating, violence to patients, hitting patients. BB & RR saying complexities when very limited resources etc.
AA: Could document more about psychological impact long-term of drones, repeated bereavements, uncertainty i.e. how negative to well being. Could bring up in HRC.
ST noted it could be good to start with raising and highlighting issues.
RR: Claims in northern Iraq of some abuses by NGOs. Discussed if this could this be raised by HRC
PH: HRC could audit attitudes of VIPSIG members to HR issues
MAS: Syrian Refugees task force at college working on for 1 year. Now set up. Trying to raise awareness. Noted the task force is politically neutral.
MAS & PH have Lancet article coming soon
ST: Kashmir project: online supervision ongoing. Trying to evaluate how it works
Gondor Ethiopia happy to be contacted about
AS: highly recommends Malawi SMMHEP project
AS: MSF looking for Eritrea volunteers, will ask if they want to link with college volunteer programme
PH: Ghana project for higher trainees looking for people.
HR will send to PTC contact. Possibly only overseas experience recognized for training.
UK volunteering activities
Need to promote more. Essay prize helps to encourage this.
Needs more entries.
We need to market how it gets to everyone and publicise better