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Editorial Board

Editor in Chief:
Unaiza Niaz (Pakistan)
Michaela Amering (Austria)
Elsa Gómez (USA)
Teri Pearlstein (USA) 
Aslihan Pohat (Turkey)
Donna Sewart (Canada)
In This Issue
Editor's Welcome
President's Welcome
5th World Congress on Women's Mental Health
Congress - Student's Perspective
Dart Centre Training
Upcoming Events

IAWMH Leadership

For detailed info -  click here!



Marta B. Rondon (Peru)

Vice President:

Helen Herrman (Australia)

Immediate Past President:

Anita Riecher-Rössler



Susan G. Kornstein (USA)


Silvia Lucia Gaviria (Colombia)


Advisory Board:

- Prabha Chandra (India)
- Marina Díaz Marsa
- Jayashri Kulkarni

- Unaiza Niaz (Pakistan)

- Teri Pearlstein (USA)

- Donna Sewart (Canada)


Established in 2001 to improve the mental health of women throughout the world,  the International Association for Women's Mental Health is a Not for Profit, Non-Governmental Organization.


The mission of IAWMH is:


-  To improve the mental health of women throughout the world.


 -  To expand the fund of knowledge about Women's Mental Health.


-  To promote gender-sensitive and autonomy-enhancing mental health

services for women.


-  To advance collaboration between Societies and Sections.


For more information:  www.iawmh.org  


Click here to download


IAWMH Consensus Statement on Women's Mental Health and the WPA Statement on Interpersonal Violence Against Women



These have been approved by all national psychiatric associations (130+) which belong to WPA. 



We're looking for good ideas! Yours!


Please submit suggestions for future newsletter items, personal news, or even suggested topics for the next meeting.   We would like to include member reports on existing and ongoing programs.  Tell us what you are doing so that we can share with others around the world.


Send them to info@iawmh.org

Upcoming Events

Presentations by IAWMH Members  


Psychiatric Society,

May 9-10, 2013

Marta Rondon -
Globalization and Women's Right to (Mental) Health and Psychobiology of Violence
Donna Stewart -
1. Evidence Based Management of UniPolar Depression in Pregnancy
2. Perimenopause and Mood


Silvia Gaviria:

XVII National Congress of Psychiatry of Guatemala. Guatemala City. August 30 - September 2, 2013
Gender Violence in Latin America: Realities and Challenges  

XXVII Congress of APAL Buenos Aires.
16 - 19 November, 2012
New Perspectives on Controversial Issues of Women's Mental Health
59 th Annual Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine Meeting. Atlanta.   November 2012---- Parenthood and Psychosomatic Medicine
Organized by IAWMH


Unaiza Niaz:

Pan Arab Congress, Dubai, November 2012-Keynote Presentation-


Women's Mental Health In Muslim World

First International Congress on Social Psychiatry in Egypt, Cairo December 2012

Building Resilience in Survivors of Domestic Violence


Participation in Upcoming Events


WPA Regional Meeting in Istanbul Turkey

WMH -Section

19-23 June 2013

Symposium-Legal Issues in Women's Mental Health 

Donna Stewart

Josyan Mediskaff

Unaiza Niaz


Intersectional Collaboration Forum -Stigma in Psychiatry

Unaiza Niaz

WPA Meeting Vienna

27-30 October 2013


Symposium "Does Globalization Affect Women's Mental Health"

Helen Herrman, Chair Michaela Amering, Co-Chair


Marta Rondon

Donna Stewart

Unaiza Niaz


Franz Fanon Society-Africa Today & Fanon
ALGERS-1-3 JUNE,2013--The Silent Suffers-Women & Children

Unaiza Niaz invited as distinguished guest Speaker 


New Publications by IAWMH Members
Frauen in Psychotherapie

Editors:  Boothe B, Riecher-Rössler A,  Stuttgart Schattauer; 2013.

ISBN: 978-3-7945-2814-1 (Print)

978-3-7945-6644-0 (eBook)


This book presents a practical overview of gender-sensitive diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to all major mental disorders and illustrates in many ways what psychotherapeutic practice for women can mean today.  German

Contact us:


International Association for Women's Mental Health
c/o Debra Tucker Associates LLC
8213 Lakenheath Way
Potomac, Maryland 20854 USA
Phone - 1-301-983-6282



Please note:

The views and opinions expressed in these reports are solely those of the individuals noted and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by IAWMH, its leadership or members. 


Spring 2013

Welcome - Editor's Note

Welcome to the Spring Newsletter,and Greetings for a lovely 2013. The 5th IAWMH Congress in Lima Peru,in March,was a great success from all standards. A detail report is in the presidents message.


Our members are active as ever, presenting research work, keynote addresses symposia and workshops, locally in their region and internationally, in all the well known forums.Publishing books on women;s mental health issues,and articles in scientific journals.


Good news is that the editorial board of IAWMH,will be there to help getting you a more interesting and useful news & updates in the field of women's mental health.


We urge our readers/members to actively get involved in sending news items ideas etc.Clearly we have limited space & constraints, but we assure you that all important and timely news will be included.


Unaiza Niaz, MD

Editor in Chief

Welcome - President's Note


As the new president of IAWMH, it is my pleasure to greet you and to thank you for your interest in our Newsletter. The 5th World Congress has just finished (it was held in Lima, from March 4th to 7th), and it has left me with a deep sense of accomplishment: our multidisciplinary group of professionals has certainly grown and it is now time to consolidate our assets in order to sustain our development and to work to include as many colleagues, from every region and from diverse disciplines, in our group.


Accordingly, the tasks ahead will deal with updating the structure of the Association to accommodate members from all regions and disciplines, and to formalize our commitment to IAWMH. Furthermore, we must build strong networks in order to contribute, from our own work settings, to the implementation of all necessary changes in policies, laws, education and clinical practice, so that they reflect what we know about making women's mental health better and accessible to all.


Allow me to take this opportunity to invite you to keep in touch with the organization, to participate in one of the committees, to contribute actively in the upcoming revision of the bylaws, to send us your ideas and suggestions, and to present your work in our next meeting. We are actively seeking a suitable venue for 2015, and will shortly begin the organization of our 6th World Congress. The venue will be announced soon, and we will start working towards the congress. We certainly look forward to seeing you there!



Marta B. Rondon, MD

President, International Association for Women's Mental Health 

5th World Congress on Women's Mental Health





IAWMH, held its 5th World Congress in Lima, Peru on March 4-7, 2013 building on the success of the four previous congresses held in Berlin (2001), Washington (2004), Melbourne (2008), and Madrid (2011).


The Congress was attended by 458 delegates from 57 countries. The evaluation survey overwhelmingly showed  that participants found presentations useful to their work and rated all speakers and symposia over 4 on a 5 point scale.


The Scientific Program was based on the views of the EC and Scientific Committee members, upon the idea that this is a multifaceted area of knowledge which engages experts and practitioners from multiple disciplines. The program correlated with the academic needs in the field of WMH.


The President's special interest lay in research on violence against women, as this was most fitting as gender based violence (GBV) is one the most pressing public health, human rights and human development concerns in Latin America.


Both international organizations, such as Pan American Health Organization and United Nations Population Fund, and Peruvian civil society, state and academic institutions supported the conference and presented keynotes, symposia and oral communications.


Other topics which received attention were advances in etiology and epidemiology of disorders, the gender perspective in the management of alcohol and substance related disorders and the impact of social determinants on women's mental health and the evaluation and management of psychiatric disorders in women across the life cycle with topics related to the wellbeing of children and older adults and the perinatal period were explicitly included in the program. The latter is a field of interest mostly for medical professionals, although women's mental health encompasses the whole array of concerns of women along the entire life cycle and across the different areas of development, which have biological, social and psychological contributing factors.


The presentations supported the views that although much has been learned about the differences in structure and function between males and females, we still lack research to elucidate the effect of environmental factors and pharmacologic interventions on women, particularly during pregnancy and lactation. Likewise, the normative developments that have been adopted by most countries as a result of international covenants and some pressure have not been accompanied by changes in attitudes and cultural mores. The result is the lack of implementation of laws about gender based violence and the persistence of discrimination in political, economic and academic advancement of women.


Regarding violence against women and children we have advanced in the recognition of the dire consequences of exposure to violence which damages the capacity of the individual to deal with stress and predisposes to mental and physical ailments, and we have both qualitative and quantitative research to support the ecological model of multiple levels of causality, but we also have some findings to support the view that the need to perpetuate traditional submissive roles of women has a very important role in GBV, particularly in settings were there patriarchal attitudes have not been challenged.


Research to determine which interventions are more effective and the conversion of successful pilot interventions into region or state-wide programs cannot be delayed further.


In the field of perinatal mental health, wide recognition of the importance of impairment of function in women affected by common psychiatric symptoms on children's health and survival has determined advances in research and clinical practice. Remarkably, the role and place of medication is better understood, with recommendations to limit it to moderate to severe depression. The role of primary health care has been studied in several sites and the results are promising, with an emphasis of the usefulness of community support and non-pharmacological interventions. More research is needed in this promising area.


The importance of alcoholism as a public health concern due to its clearly documented contribution to premature death (all causes), psychiatric comorbidity, physical illnesses and violence was discussed repeatedly. The need for multidisciplinary intervention and for state and nation wide policies that tax and restrict the use of alcohol was emphasized, as was the importance of keeping a gender perspective (the distribution of power and resources) when approaching the research and management of addictive disorders.


The demands of professional careers and the unrealistic expectations of beauty, success and perfection placed on women by the media may pose special dangers to young women unless societies can collectively build environments where the distribution of opportunities and rewards is not determined by criteria such as conforming to a bodily stereotype or belonging to a certain class or gender. The impact of the social determinants of health was discussed from the perspective of promotion of mental health and prevention of disease. Stress at work, inequity in access to health care, the multiple roles and burdens of women (as professionals, spouses or partners, mothers, care givers, role models) and the demands of globalization all may have a role in determining how much a woman realizes her right to health.


In summary, we identified some crucial needs in our multi-disciplinary conference from which stem needs for action across sectors:

  • Educational and attitudinal changes have to catch up with what we know and what international and national laws say about equality and protection of women from violence and exclusion,
  • Academics must advance the conceptualization and expansion of our understanding of the mechanisms that turn experience into changes in the way women -and men- feel, think and behave
  • States need to enforce and monitor the law and policies to advance equality and autonomy of women, and
  • Civil society advocates must take advantage of this body of knowledge to help shape a better situation for all.










5th World Congress of Women's Mental Health -

A College Student's Perspective

Thank you to  Tanyanika "Tanya" Douglas-Holland, Emory University, for CrowdSource Fundraising for "Developing Leader's in Women's Health" in order to fund a college student to attend the Congress in Lima.  This is the report from the student that her fundraising sponsored:


By Yves-Yvette Young,

3rd year

Undergraduate Student

Xavier University of Louisiana


It was truly a privilege to attend the 5th World Congress of Women's Mental Health, on March 4-7, 2013 in Lima, Peru. Although the congress was not necessarily geared toward undergraduate students, it was definitely a great opportunity for me. I attended many sessions that discussed various mental health issues affecting women. I also met many professionals from around the world and had the chance to network with many people. 


For more information on Tanya Douglas-Holland's fundraising to provide a scholarship for the Congress -  click here

A First In Pakistan, As Dart Centre Asia Pacific Conducts Training

The Dart Centre Asia Pacific facilitated a five-day training session for 11 media professionals in Pakistan, tailored to help the participants train other reporters on ways to deal with stress and trauma they encounter in their work. On behalf of Internews, the first-of-its-kind workshop in Pakistan taught psychological safety in hazardous environments. Names, dates and the location of the workshop were not made public due to safety concerns.


"This really is a world first," said Dart Centre Asia Pacific managing director, Cait McMahon, who led the training, alongside Pakistani psychiatrist Dr. Unaiza Niaz. "These media professionals will now take what they have learnt and adapt it culturally, combining the physical and psychological elements and train journalists in high need areas of Pakistan. They are now world leaders in a new and exciting model of psychological and physical safety training."


The course was tailored to suit the needs of reporters covering high stress events, and included strategies and information created especially for journalism models. The program skilled the participants in understanding the basic science of psychological trauma and taught very pragmatic techniques of managing extreme stress in the face of potentially traumatic events, such as ones that these journalists encounter in their work. The course gained high praise from participants who will now carry the work forward, with translated materials, to journalists working in the hazardous regions of Pakistan.


DART Pakistan 

Upcoming Events
9 May 2013 - San Diego, California, USA
Meditation, Medication and Magic
International Bipolar Foundation

For info: http://www.internationalbipolarfoundation.org/

For webinar: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/763269190


9-10 May 2013 - Panama City, Panama

Panama Society of Pyschiatry

For info: http://www.psipanama.org


22-24 May 2013 - Berlin, Germany

17th International Congress of the
International Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISPOG)
The Brain - The Body - The Society

23-27 June 2013 - Kyoto, Japan
11th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry
29 June - 3 July 2013 - Lisbon, Portugal
21st Congress on Social Psychiatry

11-14 July 2013 - Regensburg, Germany

5th Conference: "The Parental Brain"
Organized by OJ Bosch, DA Slattery, ID Neumann
For info:


24-28 July 2013 - Vancouver, BC, Canada

4th Brain Development & Learning: Making Sense of the Science Conference
29 September - 2 October 2013 - Melbourne, Australia

WPA Thematic Conference 2013

Human factors in crisis and disasters-future proofing of crisis and disaster management