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Report of the International Symposium on Psychology and Psychiatry in Military and Police Forces



Dear General, Sir,

Preceding with the implementation of the resolutions of the ICMM Pan Asia Pacific Regional Assembly and the road map of the Reference Center on Mental Health, the report of the International Symposium on Psychology and Psychiatry in Military and Police Forces is hereby presented to you.

The International Symposium on Psychology and Psychiatry in Military and Police Forces was held in the form of two scientific expert symposia and four specialized workshops from 24 to 26 August 2019, in Tehran.

Following its formation, the organizing committee launched the website for registration, and issued announcements and invitations to the regional countries, partner organizations, and Iranian Armed Forces specialists. As a result, 14 international guests from 9 countries (Oman, Qatar, Brunei, Vietnam, Mali, Syria, Italy, Spain, and Venezuela), along with more than 30 military attachés from different countries, and 252 domestic participants, who were all mental health professionals, attended the meeting.

The first two days were dedicated to scientific programs, and on the third day, a social-cultural event followed by a brainstorming session regarding the Reference Center on Mental Health were held with the participation of international guests.

The costs of transfer and the social-cultural event were covered by the Department of Health, Rescue, and Treatment of I.R. Iran Police Force for the international participants.

The participation of experts from the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) was very active in this Symposium, as several expert meetings with the head of ICRC mission in Iran, Mr. STOCKER, were held.

The scientific committee, consisting of the professors from the Iran’s Armed Forces Universities and Ministry of Health and Medical Education, was responsible for the implementation of the scientific programs, as follows:
• “The Future of Military and Police Psychology and Psychiatry” was explained and described in the first expert symposium by reviewing and presenting the latest studies in futurology, and the importance of attention paid to this issue by commanders, managers and health policymakers was highlighted.
• As the topic of “Intentional Injuries in Military and Police Forces” is important and globally widespread, the second expert symposium was dedicated to this issue, where the current status and pathologies were explained and the existing solutions were reviewed.
• A workshop on “Mental Health and Families of Military and Police Forces” was held in two parts. In the first part, Iranian professors elucidated the challenges related to the families, as well as the scientific strategies that can be used by specialists for intervention. In the second part, a representative from the ICRC discussed the family damages in combat, focusing on those missing in action, and the participants were provided with valuable experiences on this subject.
• A workshop titled “Psychological Interventions in Crisis” was also organized in two parts, the first by the Iranian professors, and the second by the ICRC representatives. In this workshop, the proper psychological intervention methods were presented and the existing protocols in this field were reviewed and discussed, along with the provision of necessary trainings.
• In a workshop on “Resilience in Military and Police Staff”, scientific training on increasing staff resilience was covered using common models, and the latest workbook in this field, written in the UK, was translated and distributed to participants.
• The workshop on “Individual and Organizational Assessments” in military and police forces explained the assessment at different stages of service (before, during, and at the end of service), and, by teaching and introducing various tools in this field and their diverse applications, tried to develop a correct view of the assessment, and enhance the participants' ability to select and employ the appropriate tools.

On the third day of the Symposium, international guests were invited to a cultural-social event, along with a specialized meeting regarding the ICMM Reference Center on Mental Health. As planned before, visits were paid to the Sa'dabad Palace Complex in the morning and Milad Tower in the afternoon. At Milad Tower, the specialized meeting was held as a brainstorming session, and a report on the actions taken thus far by the Reference Center was presented, followed by obtaining oral and written comments from the Delegates of attending countries.

Concluding the mentioned meeting, the Delegates agreed to communicate their method of cooperation with this Center through email, after coordination with their authorities.

At the end of the Symposium, a survey form was distributed and the received comments were analyzed, the results of which showed that over 95% of the participants were satisfied with the Symposium, content- and organization-wise, and rated it high.

Brigadier General Dr. Hasan ARAGHIZADEH
Head of Health Department of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Chairman of the ICMM Pan Asia Pacific Regional Working Group