As we are entering the 44th year of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, our organization has proven to be a viable, stable and valued member in the world of psychiatric and mental health organizations. Despite challenges ahead, we will continue to grow our organization and, with your participation, make substantial contributions to the field of adolescent mental health and advocacy.
Our recent yearly Annual Meeting in March 2011, was an indication of the continuing success of our organization. The venue, again at Day Top Village in New York City, was professionally handled and catered. Our presenters were among the most respected members in the field of psychiatry. The William Schonfeld Memorial Award and Lecture was given to Dr. Glenn Saxe for his innovations in the study of childhood traumatic stress. Ms. Frances Roton Bell, ASAP’s Executive Director, was awarded the Herman Staples award for her incalculable dedication and contribution to our organization’s welfare. Presented topics included discussion of DSM V proposed changes, disaster psychiatry, cannabis abuse, autism research, childhood trauma and PTSD, high conflict divorce, generational psychiatry, increasing publication skills and panels on eating disorders and dialectical behavioral therapy. We have posted abstracts for some of these presentations on our website, and expect to publish original papers by some of our presenters in our journal, Adolescent Psychiatry.
Our organization has made a number of important developments that serve our goals of education, advocacy, and professional networking. Past President Dr. Joseph Kenan redesigned our website, to make a user-friendly, exciting internet interface, understanding well that our future lies in fostering and improving our web presence which has become the mainstay for contemporary communications and informational resources. In that regard, we have also developed an adolescent pscyhiatry group on LinkedIn, with plans to develop a Facebook page, and further develop our website with forums for discussion, and tabs presenting information to healthcare professionals and community members alike. These pages might serve to provide quick and easy communications between members, discussion regarding various topics, and allow the distribution of important news that affects our field to professionals and the community. Webinars too, are being considered, that will allow members throughout the country to participate in recorded presentations. Dr. Kenan already pioneered our use of videoconferencing for our periodic Board meetings, allowing us more frequent contact as a result of the practical convenience that meeting method provides.
On our publishing front, Dr. Gregory Barclay continues his editorship of our outstanding Newsletter, providing brief updates about our organization, and timely articles. Past President, Dr. Lois Flaherty has negotiated an arrangement with Bentham Science for a new journal on Adolescent Psychiatry, which will serve as the official journal of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry. First issue highlights included articles on borderline personality disorder in adolescents, shame in psychotherapy, and overcoming resistance in therapy. An upcoming issue will feature highlights and original papers from our Annual Meeting. Members are afforded special arrangements with the publisher for subscription. Peer reviewers, article submission, and editorial help are always welcomed.
ASAP has many plans to keep our organization up to date and competitive. Some potential ideas include financial incentives for referring new members, mentoring programs, and action groups to deal with the issues faced by teens in today’s world. We know you will not want to miss these events.
Few fields are as underserved, and in need of public education as ours. A recent news article noted a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showing that in excess of 60 percent of adolescents suffering from major depression were not receiving treatment during the study period. This is, of course, only one example of teen mental health needs within our rapidly changing society. Sociopolitical and medical model changes, global unrest, war, substance abuse, economic instability, and globalization of media and communication are just some of the factors that contribute to a unique future landscape. We are the only national academic psychiatric organization dedicated solely to the mental health and well being of adolescents. It is incumbent upon us, as clinicians and leaders in the field to light the torch, dispelling darkness around us. It is my honor to serve this organization, and follow in the footsteps of the leaders who have tread the path before me. I encourage you all to take an active role in this process and join us in these most worthy endeavors. See you on the web, and at next year’s Meeting.
Dean De Crisce, MD, FAAFS
ASAP President Dean De Crisce, MD, FAAFS