Report of the 12th Panhellenic Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Congress

5-7 November, Virtual meeting

Konstantinos Kotsis, Aikaterini Chari, Dimitris Anagnostopoulos 

The community of child and adolescent psychiatrists is represented by the Hellenic Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (HSCAP), established in 1983 in Athens and currently has approximately 450 members. The HSCAP organizes, every 2 years, a Panhellenic (National) child and adolescent psychiatry conference. 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s congress was held online on the 5-7 November 2021 with the theme “Mental Trauma: its importance in psychic structure, theory, clinical practice and social reality”. 

Over 700 child and adolescent psychiatrists, medical students and allied professionals were treated to an array of 8 keynote lectures, 38 round tables, 4 workshops, 59 presentations, and 35 e-posters, presenting all in aspects of trauma through various perspectives and approaches. 

After the congress opening ceremony, the main keynote lecture was given by the ESCAP President Elect, Professor Joerg Fegert (Germany) who discussed the theoretical background and the clinical and social consequences of the early childhood adversities, trauma and complex traumatization. A round table organized by ESCAP with President Dimitris Anagnostopoulos (Greece) as chair, Professor Milica Pejovic Milovancevic (Serbia) and Professor Vlatka Boričević Maršanić (Croatia) presented a special topic regarding trauma for children and adolescents in Southeast Europe. Speakers coming from the region were Vlatka Boričević Maršanić (Croatia), Rumiana Dinolova-Hodgadgikova (Bulgaria), Kallistheni Pantelidou – Vorka (Cyprus), Marija Raleva (North Macedonia) and Jelena Vasic (Serbia). The most cutting-edge research in the field of trauma across the lifespan was presented by Professor Andrea Danese (UK), Professor Tracey Shors (USA) and Professor Antonios Stamatakis (Greece) chaired by Professor Argyris Stringaris (Greece) and Christina Dalla (Greece). Moreover, a special round table dedicated to trainees was organized by the ESCAP Early Career and Trainee CAP Committee along with the Greek Trainee Committee of HSCAP. Dr. Asilay Seker (UK) discussed the important topic of how equipped are early career and trainee CAPs for managing trauma in the COVID-19 world, followed by Dorottya Ori (Hungary), Ana Teresa Prata (Portugal) and Antonia Tsakali (Greece), who all shared their experiences and knowledge about trauma in children and adolescents in their countries, from a trainee and early career perspective. As all mental health professionals experienced the impact of COVID in the service provision, Dr. Alexis Revet (France) presented the interesting findings of the ESCAP CovCAP survey. CovCAP is a longitudinal survey with the aim to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on child and adolescent psychiatry services in Europe, and it was launched by ESCAP Research Academy and ESCAP Board. A special lecture for EMDR was given by Deany Laliotis (USA), Director of the Center for Excellence in EMDR Therapy. 

In the 3-day congress, trauma was approached by various perspectives with round tables, lectures and workshops organized by different Greek associations; Psychoanalytic, Systemic and Cognitive Behavioral societies. Other organizations contributed to the success of the Panhellenic Congress were various societies for the prevention of child abuse and child protection, the Hellenic forensic psychiatric association, the Ethics Committee of the HSCAP and Societies specialized to specific disorders (ASD, ADHD). Finally, child and adolescent psychiatry departments throughout Greece participated and contributed to the round tables, lectures and presentations. 

Special thanks

HSCAP would like to thank ESCAP for its contribution, collaboration, and support to our congress. This kind of contribution represents one of the basic concepts of ESCAP, that of constant collaboration and support to the National Societies in order to empower and enhance their efforts to an international level. Additional thanks to the excellent speakers who took the time to present and interact with the Greek child and adolescent psychiatry community. Their presentations were key to the success of our congress.