Section on Transcultural Psychiatry

In 2001 a group of Dutch psychiatrists with interest in transcultural psychiatry took the initiative to found the (Dutch) Section on Transcultural Psychiatry. They had the intention to promote this field of science.

Eerste bestuur Sectie Transculturele Psychiatrie
First board members in april 2002 in Groningen: from right: Frank Kortmann(co-chair), Marjolein van Duyl (board member), Ferdinand Thung (deceased in 2005, one of the initiators) Pim Scholte (treasurer), Hans Rohlof (secretary). The Board has been changed in December, 2008.

In 2002, after determining a policy program by the members, the section asked the board of the Netherlands Psychiatric Association for an official status as Section of the Association. Also, the board of the section has been stated. The official foundation by the board of the Association took place in July 2003.

In the policy program of the Section the general purpose is stated: the promotion of psychiatric practice which takes into account the cultural diversity and the migration history of patients, and the stimulation of scientific research in this field. The Section wants to reach this goal by permanent education in congresses and conferences, a newsletter, being a forum for researchers in the field, and working as a pressure group to put the field on diverse agendas. The section also tries to promote the increase of psychiatrists of minority groups in the Netherlands and tries to promote mental health in development countries. At last: there are contacts with other national and international organisations.

In 2003 a definitive policy program has been stated by the members of the section.

The Section has 140 members of whom 110 are psychiatrists and the others medical anthropologists, psychologists and so on. The board of the Section consists of eight persons. In december 2008, the old Board members made place for a new Board, see the site of the NVvP.

The Section has already organised conferences and will do so in the future. In 2003 it organised together with others a conference on transcultural diagnostics and a conference on cultural competence. In 2004 there was a conference on science and scientific pitfalls in the field of culture and mental health. After the conference the section has produced a paper on this topic. At the end of 2004 there was a conference on Addiction and Culture. In the annual conferences of the Netherlands Psychiatric Association we have had several symposiums, courses and other presentations. In the Association the Section talks with other sections about themes as the profile of the psychiatrist, end terms of education, organisation of care and other topics. The Section already works as a forum for cooperation in the scientific field. Also, the Section is occupied with enhancing education in transcultural psychiatry for residents, and employment of more psychiatrists from non-western cultures.

The Section has a newsletter, which is sent electronically. Other news is sent regularly by e-mail.

More information (in the Dutch language) can be found on the website of the Nederlandse Vereniging of Psychiatrie, under “Afdelingen”, Transculturele Psychiatrie.