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23 Annual conference of the BPPA in collaboration with IDAP was held in the Marriott hotel, Leicester

Leicester: 23rd Annual conference of the British Pakistani Psychiatrists Association (BPPA) in collaboration with Iranian diaspora association in Psychiatry (IDAP) was held in the Marriott hotel, Leicester on Saturday, 18 November 2023.

A large number of eminent psychiatrists, distinguished healthcare leaders and trainee doctors from all over the UK, Ireland & Pakistan participated. The conference was formally launched by the BPPA chairman Dr Shahid Latif. Academic sessions were hosted by Dr. Maryam Ali and Dr. Mahira Syed while Dr. Asad Malik clinical Associate professor and BPPA Academic lead gave an overview of the CPD proceedings. Registrar of the the Royal College of Psychiatrists Dr. Trudi Seniveratne, Dr. Hina Syed chaired the first session. Dr. Shabnam Sarfaraz, Dr. Samia Latif and Dr. Ayesha Mian highlighted the leadership role of women physicians in the global mental healthcare.

Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Professor Subodh Dave & Dr. Yasir Abbasi chaired second session. Dr. Kamran Shaikh from Ireland, Prof. Graeme Yorston, Dr. Mathew Liveras shed light on some key areas of new research & development. Third session was chaired by the IDAP chairman Dr. Mujtaba & Dr. Saima Niaz, Dr. Dr Rachel Gibbon and others presented their experiences and observations about wellbeing.

This session was followed by three parallel workshops. Highly acclaimed speakers Dr. Lily Read, Dr. Ananta Dave, Dr. Sadia Muzaffar and Dr. Muhammad Arif provided information and awareness to the participants on current challenges in mental healthcare & their solutions. BPPA pioneer Dr. Muhammad Akmal Makhdoom & Dr. Aamer Sajjad chaired the final session of the day. BPPA chairman Dr. Shahid Latif, updated attendees on the BPPA activities in UK,

Pakistan & Ireland besides collaboration with stakeholders. Renowned service users/carers representative Mrs. Rachel Bannister shared her views on mental healthcare services. Dr Farina Tahira shared the residue of BPPA poster competition and invited three finalists for presentation of their work. BPPA General Secretary Dr Raees Irfan Ahmed thanked the distinguished guests who had travelled from all over the UK, Ireland and Pakistan to attend the conference.

There was a gala dinner arranged afterwards, attended by the conference participants and their families & friends. It was followed by the BPPA Quiz show hosted by Dr Hina Syed & Dr Yasir Abbasi. This day of learning & fun was concluded by a talk & interactive session with the famous Pakistani artist & activist Azfar Rehman on cultural issues related to mental health in Pakistani society. At the end of this marvellous conference, a minute’s silence was observed to pay respect to innocent lives lost in the ongoing Middle East war. BPPA has announced to donate fifty percent of the gala dinner proceeds for humanitarian relief in Gaza.

Report by S M Irfan Tahir Photojournalist / Member National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Great Britain.

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