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Presidential Blog

A Declaration of Intention to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding between the British Psychological Society and the Russian Psychological Society was signed in St Petersburg on Thursday 28 May 2015.

We were represented by our President, Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, and the Russian society by its President Professor Yuri Zinchenko.

The signing took place in the 18th-century Peter’s Hall of St Petersburg State University at in the presence of the UK Consul General Keith Allan and a group of the university’s professors.

The ceremony was followed by a lecture on the British history of military psychology, delivered to the university’s professorial and teaching staff by Jamie Hacker Hughes.

The following day Jamie Hacker Hughes, who is also a visiting professor of military psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, was joined by the medical director and consultant psychiatrist for the UK’s largest nationwide veterans’ rehabilitation charity Combat Stress, Dr Walter Busuttil (RAF Wing Commander retired), and a co-founder of the AF&V Launchpad veterans’ charity, David Shaw CBE (Army Major General retired), for an introductory conference with their Russian counterparts on practices and methods used in rehabilitation of the veterans of recent conflicts.

This took place in the PetroCongress Congress Centre in St Petersburg.

Russia was represented by such leading specialists as:

  • Dr Alexander Karayani (Moscow) - Head of Psychology for the MoD Military University; Academician for the Russian Academy of Security, Defence and Law; Honorary Scientist of Russia; Laureate of the Marshal Zhukov State award; Recipient of the Order ‘For Service to Motherland in the USSR Armed Forces’; Afghanistan War veteran
  • Dr Yulia Karayani (Moscow) - Associate professor of psychology, MoD Military University
  • Alexander Kovalev, Colonel retired (Moscow) - Chairman of the Soldiers Internationalists Committee at the Council of Heads of Governments of CIS member states; Afghanistan War Veteran
  • Elena Pfau - The Health Committee’s leading specialist for the department of relations with domestic and foreign medical institutions
  • Dr Vladislav Yusupov, Colonel retired (St Petersburg) - Head of the medical and psychological support in the Research Centre of the Military Medical Academy; Afghanistan War veteran
  • Dr Maxim Kabanov (St Petersburg) - Head of St Petersburg Hospital for War Veterans; Colonel of medical service reserve;
  • Zafar Adylov, Colonel retired (St Petersburg) - Chairman of the St Petersburg Centre of Rehabilitation and Integration of Disabled War Veterans; veteran of the Tajikistan conflict and the counter-terrorist operations in Chechnya;
  • Said Tulakov (St Petersburg) - President of a veterans’ support organisation AFGHANVET; Afghanistan War veteran.

The visit and event organiser Eugene Kasevin of The Russia House (UK) said: “We have successfully achieved our goals in bringing together the leading academics and practitioners in the field of rehabilitation for the veterans of recent conflicts. British and Russian experts agreed that they face similar problems that require joint efforts. This pioneering meeting will serve as a steppingstone for further joint explorations on the ways of bringing the veterans back to their lives.”

This visit was made possible through direct support of The Russia House, AFGHANVET (Russia) and GlavTourOperator (Russia), with administrative support from the Committee of Foreign Relations of St Petersburg and the PetroCongress Centre.

Wed, 03/06/2015 - 15:42
“I thought that mental health and mental health care were a load of **** until I needed help and went and got treatment and/or saw others who needed help go and get treatment.”

Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes has collaborated with the internationally renowned artist Mark Neville on the book The Battle Against Stigma.

Between them they aim to challenge the stigma of mental health problems in the military and to encourage attitude change so that people seek help at an early stage without being stigmatised.

Read more about The Battle Against Stigma on the website of its publisher Mark Neville.

Mon, 01/06/2015 - 16:18

Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes is now a member of the NHS England National Mental Health Taskforce. When he was appointed earlier this year he said:

“I'm delighted that I have been invited to work alongside Paul Farmer and other respected and eminent colleagues and service users from across the sector and to be representing the British Psychological Society on the Mental Health Task Force, announced yesterday by Simon Stevens, in developing a new five year all-age cross-system psychological health national strategy.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to a piece of work that will hopefully make a real difference to many millions of lives."

The taskforce brings together health and care leaders and experts in the field, including people using services, to lead a programme of work to create a mental health Five Year Forward View for the NHS in England.

The taskforce is chaired by Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind.  You can read more about its creation and work in a blog post by him for NHS England.

Mon, 01/06/2015 - 15:55