Dubai to host ‘world’s largest’ children’s mental health congress. | News Bharat

Dubai: Dubai will host the 25th edition of the “World Congress of the International Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions” (IACAPAP 2022) at the Dubai World Trade Center next week.

The “world’s largest mental health congress for children and adolescents”, which will take place for the first time in the Arab world, will be hosted by the Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, the “first and only dedicated children’s hospital” in United Arab Emirates.

Held every two years, the Congress brings together the global community to discuss important issues and promote global advances in the field.

From December 5 to 9, the 25th emblematic edition of the Congress will take place under the motto ‘Child and youth mental health: shaping the future’.

IACAPAP 2022 also aligns with the UAE National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031, which aims to make the nation a world leader in quality of life through various strategic goals and initiatives.

In 2016, Dubai became the first Arab city to win the bid to host the Congress.

The first IACAPAP World Congress to be held in the region in its 86-year history, the event will provide a platform for scientists and clinicians from around the world to discuss the latest research, explore current child and adolescent mental health challenges , and highlight cutting-edge innovations to improve mental health.

The event in the region will feature CPD-accredited sessions led by some of the world’s leading practitioners, including Professor Antonio Hardan, Head of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Stanford University; Professor Bennet L Leventhal, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; and the former president of IACAPAP, Professor Bruno Falissard, head of the Public Health and Mental Health Research Laboratory at the University of Paris-Sud, among others.

Long-term impact

Dr. Abdullah Al Khayat, CEO of Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, said: “IACAPAP has won accolades from around the world for its invaluable efforts in addressing the many mental health issues faced by facing the younger generation. Regionally, Al Jalila Children’s is a pioneer in improving children’s mental health. Both organizations hosting this year’s World Congress is an important step. We hope that hosting the World Congress in Dubai will have a long-term positive impact on transforming the region’s mental health landscape.”

The first day of the event is reserved for pre-congress workshops, with the official opening ceremony scheduled for December 6. Over five days, the congress will host 12 workshops, 15 keynote presentations and more than 250 hours of symposiums and conferences.


The sessions, featuring more than 300 experts from around the world, will cover a variety of topics, including anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorders, policy and advocacy, preventing mental disorders and improving well-being, and emerging technologies to improve access to child and adolescent mental health services.

The program will also address pressing issues such as parents’ concerns about parent-child interactions and the effects of COVID-19 on mental health. Thousands of delegates from more than 85 countries will attend the sessions.

Advancing pediatric mental health

According to Dr. Ammar Albanna, president of the Emirates Child and Adolescent Mental Health Society and head of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Center of Excellence at the Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital, IACAPAP 2022 highlights the Dubai’s commitment to the mental health of society, especially that of children.

“As a leading children’s hospital in the region, Al Jalila Children’s Hospital is proud to have played a key role in bringing the distinguished group of professionals from around the world to Dubai to discuss mental health issues,” he to say.

“Focusing on mental health has never been more important because a substantial percentage of the world’s population suffers from mental health problems, especially the most vulnerable group, including children. The World Congress will discuss innovative ways to improve children’s mental health . It will address critical issues such as how to respond to the rise in mental health disorders in the context of COVID-19. The fact that the Congress is being held for the first time in the region in Dubai highlights the efforts of United Arab Emirates to Advance Pediatric Mental Health.”

Meanwhile, Dr Daniel Fung, President of IACAPAP, highlighted the benefits of the Congress, noting how it will enable networking with members of IACAPAP associations and industry professionals worldwide. “Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates. Young people make up almost 30% of the region’s population. We must emphasize the importance of advocating for the mental health of the region’s youth, especially as we enter a new period of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguityā€¯.

Hosting the event in Dubai will mark another milestone in the emirate’s efforts to lead mental health awareness in the region and support its efforts to become a leading health tourism hub.

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