International Conference on Schizophrencia

Jan 29, Thursday – Feb, 2 Monday, 2004

Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of SCARF, IConS (International Conference on Schizophrenia) was held between Jan 29 & Feb 2, 2004. This was co-sponsored by the World Health Organisation, the World Psychiatric Association, the Indian Psychiatric Society and SNEHA..

Held at hotel Savera from Jan 29 – Feb 2, this was an extremely successful and well attended conference. IConS was inaugurated by Sri Rama Mohan Rao, the Governor of Tamil Nadu.


The first copy was received by Dr.Saraceno, Director, Mental Health. IConS was inaugurated by Sri Rama Mohan Rao, the Governor of Tamil Nadu on the evening of Jan 29. who also released the 20th year commemorative volume. The first copy was received by Dr.Saraceno, Director, Mental Health Division of the World Health Organization.

A film on SCARF’S 20 years of work was screened. A book on schizophrenia “Splintered Mind”written by Dr. Vijay Nagaswami and published by Penguin was released by Mr. Stuart Innes,British Deputy High Commissioner. The proceeds of the book will go to SCARF.



The total number of delegates who participated was 406 with more than 100 from outside India. There was representation from 18 countries (UK,USA,Canada, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Japan, Sri Lanka, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malaysia, Egypt, Switzerland, Australia, etc).

There were 11 plenary sessions of the highest quality, some truly outstanding. A wide spectrum oftopics ranging from pure clinical to pure biological were presented by a group of highly distinguished and seasoned speakers. There were 14 symposia and 80 posters put up over the 3 day period.

Okasha A
Director,Institute of Psychiatry, Ain Shams University, Egypt.
President, World Psychiatric Association
Optimizing Schizophrenia Care – Issues of compliance and stigma
Saraceno B
Director, Division of Mental Health, WHO, Geneva
Mental Health Services: Scarce resources require innovative thinking
Mowry B
Associate Professor of Psychiatry,
Queensland Centre for Schizophrenia Research, Australia
Recent advances in the genetics Of schizophrenia
Jaeger J
Director, Centre for Neuropsychiatric outcome &
rehabilitation research,Hillside Hospital, New York
Does neuropsychological testing reveal cognitive
operations in schizophrenia?
McCreadie R G
Director, Clinical Research,
Crichton Royal Hospital, Dumfries, Scotland,UK
Research in a rural setting – from Nithsdale to Thiruporur
Birchwood M
Director, Birmingham Early Intervention Services, UK
Pathways to emotional dysfunction in psychosis
Thara R
Director, Schizophrenia Research Foundation, Chennai, India
Twenty years of Schizophrenia Research
Thornicroft G
Professor, Institute of Psychiatry, London,UK
What is the evidence we can reduce stigma?
Keshavan M S
Professor of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and
Clinic Pittsburgh, USA
Neuroimaging, brain development and schizophrenia
Jablensky A
Professor of Psychiatry, Director CCRN
Royal Perth Hospital , Australia
Phenotype-genotype relationships in schizophrenia
Harrison G
Professor of Psychiatry, University of Bristol, UK
Trajectories of psychosis: Towards a new social biology of schizophrenia


As part of the anti-stigma campaign of SCARF, a workshop on “Media & Mental Health”, held on the morning of the 29th, drew unexpected crowds- mostly college students. It was inaugurated byfilm star Mr. Vivek. Other guest speakers were film director Balu Mahendra, film actor Mr. Nasser,Ms. Rohini, & Ramya Kannan of the Hindu. Several clippings from films were shown and a lot of discussion generated.


The Valedictory address, a most illuminating and comprehensive one was delivered by Prof. M.G.K.Menon,former Scientific Advisor to the Govt. of India. The workshop on Cognition in schizophrenia was also very well attended with over 100 registrations.


A video cassette of the proceedings of IConS is brought out. It has also been decided to collate some important papers and print them as a supplement to the journal “International Review of Psychiatry”.

The Feb.1 issue of The Hindu Sunday edition carried a full-length feature article on SCARF. read article