The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, SocialDevelopment and Labor (VSA) recently hosted a free viewing of the 34 th Annual International BostonTrauma Conference at the Government Administration Building daily from May 17 th through 20 th , 2023.MHF purchased virtual access to the 4-day conference and worked along VSA to secure a viewing space.Based on this collaboration, MHF was able to invite all mental health care workers, allied professionalsand mental health enthusiast (students) to participate in the 4-day conference free of charge.Professionals from approximately 15 organizations who render some sort of mental health within theirorganizational capacity were present over the course of 4 days, including educational, insurance,addiction, occupational therapy, youth care and rehabilitation organizations, as well as privatepsychology practices and government care-departments.Participants were able to gain deeper understanding of how trauma impacts the connection betweenmind, brain, body and social organizations and the optimal clinical interventions to facilitate restorationof safety and regulation, as well as the societal factors underscoring traumatic experiences. Participantswere privy to new research, interventions and outcomes via the varied featured presentations including,Building Resilience in the Face of Trauma, Healing Attachments Wounds and Trauma Using PessoBoyden Systems Psychomotor Therapy (PBSP), Psychedelic Assisted Therapies, Internal Family SystemsTherapy in Addiction, Basic Clinical Science, and Innovative Treatments. Participants also viewed keynote presentations by key leaders in the field of trauma including Gabor Mate, Richard Schwartz andBessel van der Kolk.The conference is hosted each year by Bessel van der Kolk, MD, who is a notable psychiatrist,researcher, best-selling author and educator of Dutch origins based in Boston. He is most famed for hiscontributions in post-traumatic stress, which was the basis of the conference.MHF’s motivation for the conference was to facilitate a space for collective learning and skills buildingfor their staff and peers in the mental health field in a shared space. The initiative, which was the first ofits kind, also encouraged networking and rapport building among the mental health professionals fromall the areas that make the mental health field. Participation commenced with a promising start, thoughit gently dwindled towards the end with the holiday and weekend included. As such, MHF acknowledgedand gifted 3 participants who demonstrated outstanding attendance with van der Kolk’s best-sellingbook, “the body keeps the score” and other personalized MHF trinkets.The virtual viewing of the conference closed with a mental health care provider’s mixer, during whichMHF revealed its 2023 mental health theme, “Policies for a Mentally-Fit Community.” The new themewill replace the previous, “Prioritize your Mind,” and future prevention and information efforts willreflect the message of the new theme in accordance with MHF’s awareness calendar.MHF is motivated to host future similar events and will incorporate initiatives geared towards thegeneral public, in efforts of raising awareness for mental health. The organization welcomes
collaboration among stakeholders in the field and other support networks to expand potential impactand reach.MHF would like to thank the Ministry of VSA for their support and congratulates all participants formaximizing on this opportunity.
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