Hello, the spring has come when all things revive. Although the chaos and pain that COVID-19 caused in our society are still not over, the start of vaccination and the development of effective treatments seem to make us see a little light of hope. During this unprecedented pandemic era, humanity is living a life of enduring anxiety and people with mental disabilities are particularly going through more difficult and harder times.
The prevalent attitude of stigmatizing and treating patients infected with COVID-19 with hostility and prejudice may harm people’s mental health, make them vulnerable to infection and aggravate the situation. The economic crisis and low growth, as well as the widespread nationalism, are also threatening the dignity and freedom of individuals.
Some people say that intimate relationship, creativity and this very moment means more than materials things during COVID-19 era. If we change our mind, unite with each other, and be faithful to the moment, humanity can take a leap forward to the new world, just like the Black Death which caused the collapse of medieval Europe but also caused humanism, the Renaissance, and capitalism at the same time.
There is a saying that goes: “Knowledge is power”. In the time of a contactless society, there will be a huge change in the services for those with mental disabilities, including rehabilitation and prevention activities. Not only will the measures to prevent infection be emphasized, but also the need for the knowledge to effectively manage the stress will increase.
Accordingly, we, the Yong-In Mental Hospital which was designated as WHO Collaborating Center, have organized an online symposium for academic exchange on what mental health professionals need to prepare in this time of turbulence. In addition, this year, 2021, is the 10th year since the name ‘schizophrenia’ has been revised in Korea to reduce prejudice. Accordingly, we have also prepared a special lecture of Dr. Elyn Saks, a professor of a Gould School of Law in the University of Southern California, United States, who works to promote the rights of people with schizophrenia and to reduce prejudice. We would sincerely appreciate the honor of your presence at this symposium.
Yong-In Mental Hospital
President Dr.Yu Sang Lee
Director of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Dr. Soyeon Park