Conference announcement: Rethinking Cultural Competence from International Perspectives

Each year for the past ten years or so McGill’s Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry has hosted an Advanced Study Institute in Cultural Psychiatry.  The Institute includes a series of month-long courses on cultural psychiatry, methods in health research, culture in clinical contexts, global mental health research and other topics, taught by members of the Division.  The Institute is usually preceded by a series of workshops and a public conference on a particular theme.

The title for next year’s conference, which will be held on April 29 and 30, 2010 in Montreal is: “Rethinking Cultural Competence from International Perspectives.”  The conference will also be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, which will run from April 29 to May 1, 2010.  You can download the preliminary announcement for the Institute here.  And here is the description of the conference:

In recent years, cultural competence has become a popular term for strategies to address cultural diversity in mental health services. Alternative constructs that have been proposed include cultural safety, humility, sensitivity, responsiveness and appropriateness. Each of these metaphors draws attention to certain dimensions of intercultural work while downplaying or obscuring others. Each perspective is rooted in particular constructions of cultural identity and difference that have social origins. Approaches to cultural competence have been dominated by work in the U.S., which configures cultural difference in specific ways that reflect its history, demography, and politics. In New Zealand, cultural safety has been promoted as a term that draws attention to issues of power and vulnerability resulting from the history of colonization. Work in other countries has favoured other models and metaphors to address diversity. This conference will bring together an international group of clinicians, researchers and educators to critically assess notions of culture competence in clinical care. Sessions will be devoted to a conceptual analysis and critique of cultural competence, strategies for addressing cultural diversity in primary care, the relevance of culture in global mental health, the cultural adaptation of psychotherapy and other clinical interventions, pedagogical approaches to professional training, and ways to improve the cultural responsiveness and appropriateness of clinical services. The conference will conclude with a debate on the future of culture in mental health services.

Download the preliminary Announcement for 2010 ASI.

[An update – December 18, 2009]:

Call for Papers

The Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture (SSPC) and McGill University’s Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry are planning a joint conference in Montreal from April 29-May 1, 2010.

The theme of the conference is “Rethinking Cultural Competence from International Perspectives.”  We are seeking papers on the following topics:

•    Unpacking the Metaphor of Cultural Competence
•    Responding to Cultural Diversity in Primary Health Care
•    Cultural Adaptation of Clinical Methods and Programs
•    Innovations in Education and Training
•    Internet-Based Resources for Multicultural Mental Health
•    International Perspectives on Cultural Consultation
•    Innovative Approaches to Cultural Competence, Safety and Responsiveness
•    Trauma and Global Health
•    New Developments/Research

To be considered, please submit your abstract to no later than January 15, 2010.  All other communications should be sent to . Please note that all papers will be peer reviewed. Please indicate whether you wish your paper to be considered for an oral presentation or a poster session.