Valkenberg Hospital Hosts Second Forensic Mental Health Conference | Western Cape Government


Valkenberg Hospital Hosts Second Forensic Mental Health Conference

19 April 2011

Valkenberg Hospital will host its second academic Forensic Mental Health Conference from 20 to 21 April 2011 at the hospital's Education Centre. The event forms part of the hospital's 120-Year Anniversary Celebrations this year, and is targeted at professionals with an interest in forensic mental health and the challenges faced by mental health service users in the criminal justice system.

The conference will be hosted by Professor Sean Kaliski, the Provincial Head of Forensic Psychiatry for the Western Cape, in conjunction with the University of Cape Town's (UCT) Department of Psychiatry.

The Forensic Mental Health Conference is the second event of its kind in the Province. Its purpose is to enable professionals working in forensic mental health services and stakeholders to share their knowledge and good practices, and to provide an opportunity to network and build collaborative partnerships. The research being presented will help build the evidence base for effective practice and stimulate innovation. The conference will therefore drive service improvement in the country.

The Minister of Health in the Western Cape, Theuns Botha, shared his views on the event: "A conference of this nature will stimulate future research and nurture an environment for the academic pursuit of knowledge in mental health matters. It will also generate innovation and provide a platform for sharing good practice, which will help the Department and Valkenberg Hospital to achieve its goal of delivering a quality healthcare service to the communities it serves".

The general impetus for the conference has been generated through an international collaboration to develop mental health services in South Africa. In 2008, the Forensic Department at Valkenberg Hospital was awarded the NRF-KISC grant to support this international collaboration. Recognising the paucity of local systems and infrastructure, the aim of the collaboration is to develop local capacity in forensic mental health services. This will be achieved by promoting stronger and more cooperative relationships between local and international partners.

Valkenberg Hospital forms part of the UCT teaching platform and will be able to meet its objective of facilitating training in Forensic Psychiatry. With the involvement of UCT, the conference will be an exciting opportunity to raise the profile of the hospital and the service both locally and internationally.

Read research presentation excerpts: Valkenberg Forensic Mental Health Conference - Abstracts Of Presentations

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Ethne Julius
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