20th International Congress of the European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - Copenhagen 2023

Next Generation Europe - a balancing act between clinical, research, clinical and political demands

Day 1 - 29 June 2023

After a busy day of setting up on 28th June, the congress opened for the more than 1,600 international delegates 08:00 on Thursday, 29 June. 

Today's State of the Art Speakers were:

  • Carmen Schröder on sleep disorders and their treatment
  • Eva Serlachius on internet delivered therapy
  • Sven Bølte on autism and the learning environment

During the opening ceremony delegates were greeted by ESCAP President, Dimitris Anagnostopoulos, and Anne Marie Råberg Christensen, Head of the local Organizing Committee. The whole audience then got to experience the power of music: directed by choir leader Mads Pagsberg and singer Sanne Graulund, the audience in the full 1,600 seater auditorium was humming to The Sound of Silence - it was a truly beautiful and touching moment!

Nina Teis Jørring, Chair of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Association in Denmark, then added her welcome and introduced Danish Minister of Health Sophie Løhde. 

We then heard Keynotes from Anita Thapar on "Genetics: how has it helped understand conceptualise psychopathology?" and Ruth Feldman on: "Biobehavioural Synchrony and the foundations of Resilience; affiliative neuroscience approach from science to intervention".

We were pleased to welcome many to our debate on mental health plans and policies, organized by the ESCAP Policy Division. The panel included

  • Ledia Lazëri, Regional Advisor, Mental Health/WHO Regional Office for Europe
  • Søren Brostrøm, Director General of the Danish Health Authorities
  • Nina Tejs Jørring, Chair of the Danish Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Konstantinos Kotsis, Greece - ESCAP Board and member of the ESCAP Policy Division
  • Maja Drobnic Radobuljac, Slovenia - Member of the ESCAP Policy Division
  • Robert Vermeiren, The Netherlands - Member of the ESCAP Policy Division

And the congress day ended with a lively networking welcome reception with 600 attendees at Copenhagen City Hall. 

There were so many great sessions and presentations today, that we cannot name them all! But we would like to thank everyone who contributed to today's programme!

Day 2 – 30 June 2023

Day 2 started off with the ESCAP General Assembly where ESCAP President, Dimitris Anagnostopoulos gave an overview over the last four years and eventually handed over to our new President, Jörg Fegert. The child and adolescent psychiatry associations of Luxembourg and North Macedonia were voted in as new ESCAP members. A big thank you was offered to the Board members stepping down: Maeve Doyle, Andreas Karwautz, Milica Pejovic-Milovancevic, and Jean-Philippe Raynaud. And we welcomed our new Board members: Andrea Danese, Maja Drobnič Radobuljac, Paul Klauser, and Carmen Schröder. And the destination for the 2029 congress was elected: congratulations to the Hungarian Society and we look forward to meeting in Budapest in 2029! Many thanks also to the Turkish Society for their bid!

Today’s Keynotes were given by Henning Tiemeier on “Birth cohorts and child psychiatric epidemiology: some milestones and many challenges” and Christoph Corell on “Pharmacologic Treatment and Research in Youth with Severe Mental Illness in Europe: Current Status and Next Steps”. 

Our State of the Art speakers were:

  • Johannes Hebebrand on weight gain for mental and somatic improvement in anorexia nervosa
  • Argyris Stringaris on affective phenomena (whose lecture theatre proved way too small for the amount of people who had come to hear him speak)
  • Andrea Danese on childhood adversity and psychopathology

We would also like to thank the representatives from UEMS-CAP, IACAPAP, WAIMH, ISAPP, AACAP, AEPEA, WPA-CAP and EFPT who joined us on stage for our joint symposium on the Future of CAP which highlighted once again the challenges we are faced with as well as our responsibility in addressing them.

The day ended with the informal congress dinner at Kayak Bar with more than 300 delegates. 

Day 3 - 1 July 2023

And just like that, we were already on the final day of our #ESCAP2023 congress! Today’s Keynote presentations were given by Tamsin Ford on “Mental Health interventions in schools and preventative measures in general” and Anne Amalie Elgaard Thorup who spoke about “The Danish High Risk and Resilience Studies: VIA 7 - VIA 15 6”. The final State of the Art lecture was given by Judith Rosmalen on “Early Experiences related to body and illness coping with symptoms”. 

Organized by Robert Vermeiren on behalf of the ESCAP Policy Division, was a symposium on the importance of “Involving Youth Peer Support Workers” where we heard first hand from Kaylee Van Tilburg about her personal history with youth mental health care and her experiences as a Youth Peer Support Worker (see also the recently issued ESCAP statement on the topic) .

During the closing ceremony, we thanked our Danish hosts for organizing such a great congress. The poster prize winners were awarded and Carmen Schröder, Congress Chair of #ESCAP2025, issued an invite to the next ESCAP congress in Strasbourg. 

A big thank you to everyone who attended #ESCAP2023. We are aware of the various crises and challenges we are all facing in the current climate. Your participation is what made this congress such a resounding success! We hope you also enjoyed it and are going home with new ideas and new friends.

To obtain your EACCME points, you have to complete the evaluation form by the end of July. But we generally would appreciate your feedback and hope you will fill in the survey.

See you in Strasbourg from 29 June to 1 July in 2025 - save the dates now!