Record numbers for cut-price Milan mental rehab event
AIM organised the 2012 Congress of the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR) in Milan, drawing record participation despite limited funds.
The World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR) held its 11th Congress in Milan in December 2012. The Congress examined a number of different areas, including the social determinants of mental disorders, the effectiveness of drug treatments and the impact of the poor economic outlook on youth depression.
The challenge facing AIM Group International was to organise an event with the high attendance levels expected by the Association, while working with very limited resources: because of the recession there was no commercial backing at all.
By working closely with the local organising committee, AIM was able to secure the involvement of the widest possible range of participants in the field. These included psychiatrists, psychologists, professional educators, rehabilitation technicians, nurses and patients as well as representatives from social cooperatives and mental health services.
This broad base meant we could organise a rich scientific programme with more than 750 abstracts submitted, of which 500 were accepted for presentation at the various sessions and in the poster area. Aware of the need to create the best possible networking environment, we also put together a vibrant cultural programme. The “Theatre and Mental Health” project included a performance of a play – La Goccia – and there were two photographic exhibitions: the ground-breaking Café Philo and Invisibili Solitudini (‘Invisible Solitude’), which showed mental illness in pictures.
The event – the first WARP Congress to be held in Milan – proved to be a great success, attracting a record number of delegates (nearly 1500) from 70 countries.
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