The IConS 2008 was inspired by the success of the two preceding conferences in 2004 and 2006. Nearly 350 delegates attended both conferences from several countries. The academic excellence of the conferences were so well received that the third in the series was much in demand.
SCARF held the third International Conference on Schizophrenia [ICONS 08] between 17th and 19th of October 2008, at Chennai. The theme of the conference was Global Trends in Schizophrenia Care and Research. The response to the conference was very enthusiastic, with over 300 delegates from India and abroad, participating in the proceedings. International delegates came from several counties like the U.K, U.S.A, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Korea, Iran and 200 within India taking part.
Dr. Benedetto Saraceno, Director, Mental Health Division, W H O, inaugurated the conference. The conference was co-sponsored by the World Health Organisation, the World Psychiatric Association and the Indian Psychiatric Society.
Recent developments in schizophrenia research were discussed during the conference. The proceedings were organized as six Plenary sessions and 16 concurrently held symposia. The faculty included eminent researchers from all over the world, speaking on a wide range of topics related to the conference theme.
Wide ranging subjects like Epidemiology in Schizophrenia, Law and policy, Culture and Mental Health, Community Mental Health, Carers and Consumers, Women’s Mental Health, Rehabilitation in Schizophrenia, Neurobiology of Schizophrenia, Intervention in Schizophrenia were discussed. For the first time, Young mental helth researchers, below the age of 35 years were invited to submit papers on their research work. Eight entries from India and abroad were received. The written papers and the oral presentations were judged by independent assessments and two prizes were awarded. Another group of researchers submitted posters for presentations. An independent jury assessed the posters and awarded three prizes.
The valedictory function held at the end of the conference , on the 19th October 2008, was addressed by the noted historian, Mr. S. Muthiah, who traced the history of well known medical institutions in the city of Chennai (formerly, Madras) and the state of Tamilnadu, from the early 17th century.Dr.Prathap Tharyan, Associate Director, CMC, Vellore presented the valedictory report.
The meeting received good press coverage with the national newspapers like the Hindu, New Indian Express and Times of India extensively reporting on the proceedings.
The organizing secretary of the conference was Dr R.Thara, Director, ably supported by the entire staff of the organization.
The entire conference will soon be available in DVD.