Welcome Letter

Learning from Diversity Across the World: Implications for Psychiatric Epidemiology

Large epidemiological studies of psychiatric disorders historically were conducted in a handful of high-income countries; fortunately, however, the breadth and depth of research in epidemiology across the globe is rapidly expanding. This rapid expansion has ushered in a new era of discovery about psychiatric phenomena as well as risk factors.  
Some risk factors that were unwavering and strongly associated with psychiatric disorders in High Income countries were not associated with disorders in other countries. New and emerging correlates, clinical manifestations of psychiatric disorders, manifestations of stigma and discrimination, and access to health care systems have energized the scientific field of psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology to promote new lines of research questions and new agendas for public health action. 
The 2020 WPA Epidemiology and Public Health Section meeting will be held for the first time on the African continent, in Morocco, and will present illuminating scientific discoveries from across the world. In addition to its focus on Africa and the Middle East, it will also bring insights from many other countries  on some of the main mental health issues from a North/South perspective: Migration for the most part within continents, suicide and suicidal behaviors which are penalized in some countries, religion,  which has become an important issue, addictions which are common all over the world and the burden of childhood trauma in context of wars and collective traumas, in order to determine the role of epidemiology in placing mental health in the political agenda in Southern as in Northern countries, all of which will be illustrated by concrete examples. 

Elie Karam
University of Balamand (Lebanon)
President of the  International Scientific Committee

Driss Moussaoui

Casablanca University (Morocco), 
President of the African/Middle East Scientific Committee

A taste of Marrakech
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