Programme announced for 7th Annual e-Mental Health Conference

The programme has been announced for the 7th Annual e-Mental Health Conference. Click here for further details.

5th Annual e-Mental Health Conference: Youth e-Mental Health - new ways of caring

Few people were able to predict the far-reaching consequences of the personal computer and the Internet. Unfettered access to the world-wide-web has not only changed the ways we communicate, learn, work and play, but has also changed our lifestyles.

Today the vast majority of young people use smartphones as both their main access to the web, and also as a universal communication/entertainment device. The advent of mobile applications for smartphones has had significant impact. By combining active and passive monitoring, apps can be an important tool for personal improvement. They can improve education and knowledge transfer, help manage daily life, and also improve users' health and lifestyle choices. Yet despite the explosion in the number of health and lifestyle-related apps for the individual, web-based tools and solutions remain the exception in healthcare rather than the norm.

The purpose of this conference is to continue the discussion on shifting paradigms in healthcare delivery through the use of new technologies. This year the focus is on youth and young people, a population who are familiar with technology and who could be well served by online treatment paradigms. We want to bring together researchers, developers, clinicians and young people with lived experiences on a level playing field; get a good understanding of available tools and solutions; and discuss the healthcare delivery of tomorrow.

The education system has an important role to play in this context so we want to present and discuss cutting-edge developments in Canadian and international universities regarding campus based e-Mental Health (EMH). In countries like Australia, the Netherlands and Sweden, a lot of funding and energy has been expended on web-based mental health solutions, and we want to share them with you and invite everybody to learn from their best practices.

This conference plans to go beyond usual knowledge transfer. If you want to empower young people you need to give them a forum; if you want lived experience to inform the future of healthcare development then individuals with lived experience need to have a voice in the discussion. Be part of the dialogue. Whether you're a clinician working with young people; a student; a teacher; a developer; a researcher; a decision-maker, or a politician. Join us and be part of the solution.

Topics of special attention will include: campus based solutions for youth mental health, International experiences and models for youth EMH, and a range of tools for a range of needs – new technologies in support of mental health delivery.

Hope to see you

Dr. Michael Krausz
Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences/UBC Dept. of Psychiatry

February 9th & 10th 2016
Child & Family Research Institute
Chan Auditorium/Chieng Atrium
950 West 28th Ave, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Click here for further information

4th Annual e-Mental Health Conference: From Telemedicine to Virtual Mental Health

January 17 - 18, 2015
Child and Family Research Institute
Chan Auditorium/Chieng Atrium
938 West 28th Avenue
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Featured speakers:

Dr. Christine Korol
Vancouver Anxiety and Stress Centre, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
"Development of the Kelty Online Therapy Service at Vancouver Coastal Health"

Dr. Kathleen Griffiths
Director, Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University
"International experiences of successful web-based healthcare delivery"

Dr. Tyler Black
Director, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of British Columbia
"EMR strategies in BC – Learning and perspectives"

Lauren Fox
Occupational Therapist, Vancouver Island Health
"BoosterBuddy: End users bring a vision to life though a 'gamified' mobile app"

Rich Gill
Mental Health Advocate, WalkAlong
"Integration of and the LifeChart into lived experience"

Visit the CHEOS website for more information

Merry Christmas!

The WIF wishes all its members and Fellows a most satisfying Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

Nobel Laureate Dr. Jerome Karle

Drs. Jerome and Isabella Karle2013 very sadly marked the passing of the Foundation's President Nobel Laureate Dr. Jerome Karle, who died on 6th June. He was a much respected figurehead whose thinking concerning collective responsibility for humankind's welfare has guided the WIF's endeavours from the outset.

Jerome was born in 1918 in New York into a talented family of relatively modest means. He had the opportunity to explore his deep curiosity in science before the onset of the Second World War and the intellect to achieve exceptional goals at a young age. By the end of 1938 he had gained a Masters Degree in Biology from Harvard University, shortly after which he made his earliest contribution to people's welfare in the form of developing fluoride tests for drinking water, methods which would go on to become standard practice. His PhD studies in Chemistry were completed in 1943 at which time he was recruited to the Manhattan Project.

It is no exaggeration to say that the development of 'the bomb' played a pivotal role in 20th Century history. Many of the greatest minds of Jerome's generation worked on this project, including his wife Isabella and Dr. Glenn Seaborg (the WIF's founding president). Faced with the knowledge that Nazi Germany were developing similar technology, the Manhattan scientists drove forwards at an incredible pace one of the most complex and ambitious scientific and technological projects ever attempted, the culmination of which hastened the end of the war in the East and the Second World War as a whole. It goes without saying that, had this race been won by the Nazis, there is a very real possibility that the world would be a significantly different place to today. As well as the intimidation of living under a repressive, thuggish Nazi regime, it is also quite possible that humankind would have been deprived of Jerome's later work, given his Jewish background.

Jerome's most significant work post-World War II was into the use of X-ray scattering techniques to determine the structure of crystals. This field of work was considered so complex as to be in many ways impossible to undertake and was difficult to grasp even for many of Dr. Karle's esteemed colleagues. Jerome's perseverance has led to scientific techniques that are now used to analyse large, complex molecules such as proteins. Being able to determine the exact molecular structure of these is key to understanding their function in a biological context, which in turn has allowed the development of a wealth of medical treatments that are targeted to particular biological activities in a way that was impossible only a matter of decades ago. Along with Dr. Herbert A. Hauptman, another former member of the WIF, Dr. Karle was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1985 in recognition for this work.

Jerome's enthusiasm for his work did not wane and it was not until he was 91 that he retired from the US Naval Research Laboratory. By this time his research was focussed on developing a broad and detailed understanding of the natural processes occurring in the human body, an endeavour with obvious benefits for medical science. This seemed to typify Jerome's interest in science that could benefit the welfare of the world's population as a whole. As with his earlier work it is a very complex and exceptionally large study which no doubt will be pursued for many years to come. Jerome's involvement in the Manhattan project may seem to stand out as the development of something with lethal rather than life-improving aims, however we owe him along with the countless others who defeated the Nazis for the world we live in today. And he may well have shared Glenn Seaborg's vision that the discoveries of those few years in the 1940s would have far more peaceful uses than warmongering uses.

In family life Jerome was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He and his wife Isabella enjoyed a nearly lifelong working as well as personal relationship. It says much of Jerome's modesty and attitude to others that his Nobel Prize biographical entry goes to great lengths to credit those whose contribution made his work possible, particularly Isabella's. Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family at the end of what we can only imagine will have been a very sad year for them. He, his attitude, ability and dignity will be enormously missed, by those who knew him as an individual, throughout the scientific community and by the WIF. We will continue forwards in the spirit that he so generously imbued the WIF with. God bless you Jerome, you were known as an extraordinary scientist and great humanitarian and for this you will not be forgotten.

Why engineers are so important and why government mindsets have to change for all our good

Our Christmas article looks at the importance of engineers to our collective future wellbeing. Through a detailed look into former WIF Chairman Prof. John Argyris' life and work, it aims to show the folly of governments who choose to ignore the importance of the sciences, technology and engineering.

The article can be read here.

WIF Blog post - Avian Influenza

The latest article in our new blog series is now online, detailing the urgent need to tackle avian influenza at source.

The post can be read here.