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Editorial Board

Editor in Chief:
Unaiza Niaz (Pakistan)
Silvia Lucia Gaviria (Colombia)Helen Herrman (Australia) 
Teri Pearlstein (USA) 
Marta Rondon (Peru)
Donna Sewart (Canada)
In This Issue
Editor's Welcome
President's Welcome
6th World Congress on Women's Mental Health
Member News
Saudi Arabia Congress
Medellin Congress
Women's Health Congress
Member Report
Upcoming Events

Cherry Trees 



Opens May 1!


6th World Congress on Women's

Mental Health

22-25 March 2015

Keio Plaza Hotel

Tokyo, Japan


Co-Hosted by the 

International Association for Women's Mental Health

and the

Institute of Women's Heath, Tokyo Women's Medical University



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)

Membership Dues 

To join & pay online - click here!


Membership Dues are on an annual basis and due by September 1 each year. 
Dues paid in 2013 will be applicable until September 1, 2014.


DUES -  
For members living in countries in World Bank class  A
US $ 150   -   List A Countries 
For members from all other countries
US $ 75  -  List B Countries

For a pdf of the membership form - click here! 


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

Selected Publications by
IAWMH Members

Domestic Violence and Perinatal Mental Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Howard LM, Oram S, Galley H, Trevillion K, Feder G.

PLoS Med. 2013;10(5):e1001452. doi:

10.1371/journal.pmed.1001452. Epub 2013 May 28.


Interventions for Preventing or Reducing Domestic Violence Against Pregnant Women.

Jahanfar S, Janssen PA,

Howard LM, Dowswell T. 

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Feb 28;2


Intimate Partner Violence.

Stewart DE, MacMillan H, Wathen N.  Can J Psychiatry. 2013 Jun;58(6):Insert 1 - 15, Encart 1-17


Resilience and resources among South Asian immigrant women as survivors of partner violence. 
Ahmad F, Rai N, Petrovic B, Erickson PE, Stewart DE
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health 2013 DOI 10.1007/s10903-013-9836-2. 


Developing Population Interventions with Migrant Women for Maternal-child Health: A Focused Ethnography.

Gagnon AJ, Carnevale F, Mehta P, Rousseau H, Stewart DE.

BMC Public Health. 2013 May 14;13:471.


Residual Symptoms in Major Depressive Disorder: Prevalence, Effects, and Management.

Zajecka J, Kornstein SG, Blier P.J Clin Psychiatry. 2013 Apr;74(4):407-14.


Strain and its Correlates Among Careers of People with Dementia in Low-income and Middle-income Countries. A 10/66 Dementia Research Group Population-based Survey.

Prince M, Brodaty H, Uwakwe R, Acosta D, Ferri CP, Guerra M, Huang Y, Jacob KS, Llibre Rodriguez JJ, Salas A, Sosa AL, Williams JD, Jotheeswaran AT, Liu Z.

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2012 Jul;27(7):670-82


The Clinical Relevance of Self-Reported Premenstrual Worsening of Depressive Symptoms in the Management of Depressed Outpatients: A STAR*D Report.

Haley CL, Sung SC, Rush AJ, Trivedi MH, Wisniewski SR, Luther JF, Kornstein SG.

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 Mar;22(3):219-29.


Inflammatory Activation and Cholinergic Anti-inflammatory System in Eating Disorders.

MacDowell KS, Díaz-Marsá M, Güemes I, Rodríguez A, Leza JC, Carrasco JL.

Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Aug;32:33-9.


A Pilot Study to Compare Fluoxetine, Calcium, and Placebo in the Treatment of Premenstrual Syndrome.

Yonkers KA, Pearlstein TB, Gotman N.  J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2013 Oct;33(5):614-20. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e31829c7697.


Circadian Phase Shifts and Mood Across the Perinatal Period in Women with a History of Major Depressive Disorder: A Preliminary Communication.

Sharkey KM, Pearlstein TB, Carskadon MA.  J Affect Disord. 2013 Sep 25;150(3):1103-8.


Pharmacologic Treatment of Sex Offenders with Paraphilic Disorder.

Garcia FD, Delavenne HG, Assumpção Ade F, Thibaut F.

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2013 May;15(5):356


Vestibular Insights into Cognition and Psychiatry.

Gurvich C, Maller JJ, Lithgow B, Haghgooie S, Kulkarni J.

Brain Res. 2013 Sep 5
Prospective Economic Evaluation of a Peer Support Intervention for Prevention of Postpartum Depression among High-Risk Women in Ontario, Canada.Dukhovny D, Dennis CL, Hodnett E, Weston J, Stewart DE, Mao W, Zupancic JA.
Am J Perinatol. 2013 Sep;30(8):631-42. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1331029. Epub 2013 Jan 2. 


Measurement of depressive symptoms among cardiac outpatients: Should sex differences be considered?

Grace SL, Yee J, Reid R, Stewart DE J Health Psychol. 2013 Apr 30.


Effect of referral strategies on access to cardiac rehabilitation among women.Gravely S, Anand S, Grace SL, Stewart DEEur J Prev Cardiol. 2013 Mar 11.
Mood and the menstrual cycle.
Romans S, Stewart DE, Kreindler D, Einstein G, Laredo S, Asllani E, Petrovic M, Levitt A, Morgan K, Toner B.   Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 2013;82:53-60

Cesarean section rate differences by migration indicators.Gagnon AJ, Van Hulst A, Merry L, George A, Saucier JF, Stanger E, Wahoush O, Stewart DE. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2013 Apr;287(4):633-9. doi: 10.1007/s00404-012-2609-7.

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 2014

Welcome - Editor's Note

The IAWMH newsletter strives to be the comprehensive and balanced voice of IAWMH workings, and a very resourceful media channel in improving interaction and communication between its members and the other women's mental health organizations globally.

The Newsletter at this time reports the First International Conference on Women's Mental Health in Al Khobar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. IAWMH co-sponsored this pioneering event and the IAWMH President Marta Rondon and Unaiza Niaz, member of the advisory council and editor of the Newsletter presented, keynotes and conducted workshops (read the detail report)


IAWMH members have been actively promoting WMH, locally in their countries, region and globally. Participation in conferences, conducting research studies and training workshops for th postgraduate students and young psychiatrists are significant activities of the organization..


I am sure that along with the competent editorial board, the newsletter will continue to serve our organization with zest; and be an effective means in assisting our efforts to raise women's mental health awareness. I look forward to your continued support and receive your contributions, as it will only then be a fully balanced and comprehensive newsletter


Prof. Unaiza Niaz,MD,DPM,FRCPsych 
IAWMH Newsletter Editor in Chief


Welcome - President's Message



We at IAWMH are delighted to share with you this new issue of our newsletter, which brings updates on our plans and activities. Most exciting of all: abstract submission for our Sixth Congress -to be held in Tokyo, March 2015- will open at the beginning of May. We encourage you to visit the website:




to keep abreast of this process. All basic sciences and clinical researchers are urged to submit their work for consideration.


We are also very pleased to announce that IAWMH will participate in the upcoming 16th World Congress of Psychiatry in Madrid (September 14 to 18) with a section symposia on Women's Mental Health and the Law. Several IAWMH members will also present their work in various symposia.


The presence of women as leaders in different areas prompts reflections about what it takes to make it in the corporate or political arenas. Even as very accomplished women lead giant corporations such as Google and Yahoo, we cannot ignore the existence of a gender gap in leadership. In a world that is rapidly moving towards the recognition of talent as the driving force of success, it is important to close this gap. Women's mental health experts have a crucial role in clarifying the advantages of working outside the home for women and their families, as well as elucidating the most useful strategies to keep work-home balance. Our member and former president Donna Stewart had the chance to discuss these topics with a group of women executives and workers at a Renault plant in Medellin last March. (see photo below) 


Professional associations and academic institutions also benefit from the presence of women in the top positions. One of the recommendations set forth by the International Consensus on Women's Mental Health states that women should have an equitable chance for promotions and access to the highest positions. IAWMH promotes the advancement of women in all fields, because status, autonomy and financial independence determine longevity and a better quality of life.


Warmest regards to all



Marta B. Rondon, MD

President, International Association for Women's Mental Health 


Abstract Submissions Open May 1 for

6th World Congress on Women's Mental Health

22- 25 March 2015 - Tokyo



We cordially invite you to participate in our next Congress to be held in conjunction with the Institute of Women's Mental Health, Tokyo Women's Medical University.


The congress is expected to attract, as did our previous meetings in Berlin 2001, Washington DC 2004, Melbourne 2008, Madrid 2011 and Lima 2013, a large number of internationally renowned experts in the field: psychiatrists, psychologists, family physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, general practitioners and other women's health professionals, researchers, students, decision makers, consumers and their families, who will share their knowledge and experiences about the best ways to improve women's mental health and wellbeing.


Biological, psychosocial, public health and political aspects of health care will be discussed from the perspectives of researchers and clinicians from different regions of the world. This multidisciplinary and culturally diverse atmosphere will provide an excellent chance for networking and formulating new research and intervention projects.


We invite you to come to Tokyo in 2015 and join us in this exciting opportunity to learn and grow together.


Toshiko Kamo, Congress Convener and Co-Chair

Professor, Institute of Women's Health,

Tokyo Women's Medical University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan


Helen Herrman, IAWMH Vice President and Congress Co-Chair


Marta Rondon, IAWMH and Congress President


IAMWH Member News

From Spain: 

Marina Diaz Marsa, who sits on the IAWMH Advisory Board, has been appointed National Coordinator for the Management of Eating Disorders by the Spanish government. Recently, she was reelected President of the Psychiatry Society of Madrid, the first Spanish society that incorporated from its foundation, a Task group on Gender and Mental Disorders, which deals mostly with depression in women. The clinical research group led by Dr Diaz Marsa at the Universidad Complutense has found evidence that a history of trauma in women suffering from eating disorders is strongly linked to brain malfunction in the striatum. This paper is up for publication now.


From Argentina: 

The Argentinian-Australian Meeting for Women's Mental Health took place in Buenos Aires on March 5, at the Residence of the Australian Ambassador. This event was organized by our Latin American representative, Elena Levin. The topics included women's rights and the building of citizenship, the problems of migrant women and involuntary hospitalization of women as a punishment, analyzed from a gender perspective. Elena also presented excerpts from "La Stupenda", a homage to Dame Joan Sutherland. This meeting exposed the problems that impinge on women in developing countries. And allowed discussion of viable alternatives to the issues posed by a combination of traditional roles and morals in the context of rapid modernization due to globalization.


From Myanmar:

Donna Stewart, IAMWH Advisory Board, met with psychiatrists interested in women's mental health in Yangon, Myanmar in January and had interesting discussions about psychiatry in their country and the feasibility of them coming to our Tokyo congress.


First Saudi Arabian Women's Mental Health Congress


Dr. Nada Alzaidi, Head of the conference Scientific Committee, receives certificate

of appreciation for her organization.

Our Association was invited to participate in the International Conference on Women's Mental Health, organized by the Department of Psychiatry of the Armed Forces Hospital in King Abdulaziz Airbase in Khobar, Eastern Province, KSA in February. Both the President, Marta Rondon MD and our board member Unaiza NIaz MD presented keynote lectures and held workshops. Over a thousand health providers attended the event, which lasted two full days. The careful organization of the event, under the leadership of Prof Nada Al-Zaidi, provided a hospitable environment where depression, anxiety, psychosis, gynecological symptoms, pharmacology, drug addiction and psychosocial issues were discussed. The overall level of the presentations was outstanding. The fact that women's mental health receives such good attention in this region of the world holds the promise that the dissemination of scientific evidence about the factors that influence women's well-being will receive some attention. Attendance to conference has given IAWMH leadership and it has enriched our perspective about women's problems and their



The event was held in Le Meridien Hotel in Khobar and during the opening ceremony the Director of the Hospital, Brig, Gen. Abdullah Alotaibi gave our President a shield, as a recognition for IAWMH sponsorship of the event. We will display it in Tokyo during the congress.


Left to right: Prof. Marta Rondon; Dr. Samar Hassan, Consultant OB/GYN, National Guard Hospital, Riyadh; Prof. Unaiza Niaz; Dr. Mona Aldulaijan; Dr. Lubna Albassam  


Left to right:  Major General Dr. Othman Bakar, Director of Eastern Province hospital directorate; Prof. Unaiza Niaz; Brig General Abdulla Alotaibi; Brig General Dr. Saud Alsaif, Director of King Abdulaziz Armed Forces Hospital.

5th International Meeting on Women's Medicine and Mental Health - From Birth to Transcedence

From Silvia Gaviria, IAWMH Secretary:


The V International Conference on Women´s Mental Health, "From birth to transcending", organized by CES University, held in March in Medellin, Colombia, had the participation of nine international speakers from United States, Canada, Chile, Peru and Spain and several Colombian speakers and the support of IAWMH and WPA. Both the local and regional government offices endorsed the meeting.


The selected topics were mental health, psycho-oncology, senior women, new approaches and new therapies. About 300 people attended. We had two activities with the community and a research (poster) competition; Renault invited Dr Donna Stewart to present on gender equality at work, for its women executives and workers.


Thanks to the work done during ten years, we have been able to position the event in the Latin American region. This time we had attendees from Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Panama, Chile, Costa Rica, Bolivia, United States, Canada, Spain and Colombia.


All of this leads us to conclude that together we make the difference!

From left to right:  Marta Rondon, Maria Inés López-Ibor, Donna Stewart, Michelle Riba,  Javier Escobar, Silvia  Gaviria, Samir Sabbag, Maria Adelaida Rueda, Gloria Bachman, Monica Kimelman, Ana Maria Morillo.  


North American Socety for Psychosocial Obstetrics & Gynecology Biennial Meeting

The North American Society for Psychosocial Obstetrics & Gynecology held their biennial meeting in Columbus, Ohio in April.   In addition to the US and Canada, registrants came from Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Netherlands, and Switzerland. Held in conjunction with the Marce Society, the meeting presented several symposia:

  • Stress and Social Stressors in Pregnancy

  • Psychosocial Aspects of Cancer Treatment

  • Psychosocial Education in Women's Health

  • Fear and Anxiety Surrounding Labor

  • Impact of Psychotropic Drug Exposures in Pregnancy

  • Stress and Preterm Labor

  • Psychological Issues Related to Abortion

The next NASPOG  Biennial Meeting will be held in April 2016 in New York City.  IAWMH member Shari Lusskin, MD, is President-elect and IAWMH Board Member Teri Pearlstein, MD is Immediate Past President of NASPOG.


22nd Annual Congress on Women's Health

Washington, DC, USA

    From left to right -  Wendy Klein MD, Acting  
    Surgeon General RADM Boris Lushniak, and
    Susan Kornstein MD

From Susan Kornstein,

IAWMH Past President:


The 22nd Annual Congress on Women's Health April 4-6 in Washington, DC., presented by the VCU Institute for Women's Health, the Journal of Women's Health, and the Academy of Women's Health, in collaboration with the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health, the DHHS Office on Women's Health, and the Society for Women's Health Research. We had close to 1000 health care professionals in attendance from across the U.S. and nearly 20 countries.  


We had a great pre-conference workshop called "What's the Difference: Sex and Gender Influences on Women's Health", which was organized by the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health. The Congress program was terrific, covering all aspects of women's health, from mental health to cardiovascular health to reproductive health and more. A particular highlight was the U.S. Surgeon General's talk on the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's report on smoking. We also had a great poster session, with awards given by NIH judges.


I encourage you to come to the Congress next year, April 16-19, 2015.  It's a wonderful learning opportunity as well as great networking with other women's health researchers.


Member Report  - Fermata d'Autobus      

Report by Ann Sterling Farneti, IAWMH Member

The therapeutic community Fermata d'Autobus, in Turin, Italy  - www.fermatadautobus.net/ -  has had 30 years of experience with dual diagnosis patients, suffering from dependency issues as well as a psychiatric illness. It is currently focusing on female patients, with a history of abuse and violence, and has recently set up a small community exclusively for women, from age 18 to 50.


Therapeutic work with these women is extremely difficult in a residential structure in which both males and females are present, as the patients tend to reproduce the abusive nature of their affective relationships, in an illusory attempt to find relief from  their psychological suffering through the sexualization of their interpersonal relationships. As the majority of the male residents have personality disorders (perversion, violence, sado-masochism), they are probable candidates for repeating the abusive relationships with which the women are so familiar. Once the abusive relationship is activated within the community it is difficult for the staff to interrupt this pattern while maintaining a therapeutic alliance with the patients, continuing the therapeutic process within the residential strcture. This process is frequently interrupted, as patients often decide to leave the program, repeating the auto-destructive behavior that brought them to the center in the first place.


The new structure for women, called Blue Strawberries, is the first of this kind in Italy. It is an exciting, challenging experience for both the patients and the staff workers. Much of the attention is centered on the issue of abuse, and dependency in affective relationships...their history of trauma and violated childhood are the themes that are repeated. Patients are very demanding and needy, competitive in their requests for attention and compulsive in their behavior, but less destructive than in the mixed structure. They are open in their expression, intelligent, and difficult to manage. They require intense stimulation, particularly in regard to their creativity, so the daily program is full of varied activities, including art therapy, painting, ceramics, gardening, and many others. Both staff and patients have a rich program of supervision, and there is a comprehensive program for monitoring progress.


Upcoming Events
24 - 27 April 2014 - Lansing, Michigan, USA

6th Muslim Mental Health Congress

For info:  www.psychiatry.msu.edu/events/conferences.html   

Unaiza Niaz - Keynote Lecture on Religion Islamic Culture & Mental Health



28- 30 April 2014 - Berlin, Germany

7th Biennial Congress of

The International Society of Affective  Disorders (ISAD)

For info:  http://www.isadconference.com/



2 - 4 May 2014 - Amman, Jordan

Jordanian International Psychiatric Congress  

For info: http://www.arabpsynet.com/Congress/CongJ41IIICJordanianAssPsy.pdf

Unaiza Niaz - Keynote Speaker

1. Psychiatric Disorders in Women Refugee & IDP's in Pakistan

2. Significant Factors in Providing Social Support for the Muslim Refugee Women



3 -7 May 2014 - New York, USA

American Psychiatric Association

167th Annual Meeting

For info: http://annualmeeting.psychiatry.org/home

Presentations by IAWMH Members:

1) Is There a War on Women? Reproductive Issues in Women's Mental Health Today

Chair: Helen Herrman - Presenter:  Nada Stotland

2) Management of Psychiatric Disorders in Pregnant and Postpartum Women

Presenter: Shari I. Lusskin



14 - 17 May 2014 - St.Petersburg, Russia

Congress of World Association for Dynamic Psychiatry

Multidisciplinary Approach to and Treatment of Mental Disorders: Myth or Reality

For info:  http://www.wadp2014spb.com



22 - 24 May 2014 - Prince Edward Island, Canada

Atlantic Psychiatric Conference  

For info: http://www.healthpei.ca/atlanticpsychiatricconference 

Donna Stewart - Keynote Speaker

Depression and the Use of Psychotropic Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation 



4 - 5 June 2014 - Buenos Aires, Argentina

Forum Specialists in Mental Health

Critical Thinking and Psychiatry

For info:  elenalevin@fibertel.com.ar



4 - 7 June 2014 - Florence, Italy

XXIV European Congress of Perinatal Medicine

For info:  www.ecpm2014.org



11-14 June 2014 - Hong Kong

10th International Conference on Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society

For info:  http://www.socsc.hku.hk/icgb2014/index.html      

Unaiza Niaz - Invited Speaker

Major Issues in Women's Mental Health in Disasters: Personal Experience in Islamic Culture, Pakistan



26-28 June 2014 - Yokohama, Japan

110th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Psychiatry and Neurology

Psychiatry to change the world: from community psychiatry to global psychiatry

For info:  http://www.congre.co.jp/jspn110/eng/  

Helen Herrman - Invited Speaker

Partnerships for mental health and vulnerable young people



10-12 September 2014 - Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom

International Marce Society Biennial Scientific Conference

"Creating Change in Perinatal Mental Health"

For info: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/marce/



11-13 September 2014 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Canadian Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting

For info: http://www.cpa-apc.org/browse/documents/92

Donna Stewart - Invited Speaker

Depression on Determinants of Resilience in High Risk Women 



14 - 18 September 2014 - Madrid, Spain

16th World Congress of Psychiatry 

Focusing on Quality, Access and Humane Care

For info:  http://www.wpamadrid2014.com/


This is the WPA's main congress held every three years. The WMH Section members are actively participating in this event.

Official WMH Section Symposium - "Women's Mental Health and the Law"

Chairs: Helen Herrman, Michaela Amering

Presenters: Donna Stewart, Unaiza Niaz & Josyan Madi-Skaff


Other sessions at WPA related to Women's Mental Health presented by IAWMH Members:

1) Treatment of Psychiatric Disorders During Pregnancy

Chairs:  Silvia Gaviria, Josyan Madi-Skaff

Presenters:  Donna Stewart, Marta Rondon, Anita Riecher-Rossler

2) Human Rights for Women Psychiatric Patients

Presenter: Donna Stewart

3) Intimate Partner Violence and Women's Mental Health

Chairs:  Helen Herrman, Marta Rondon

Presenters: Donna Stewart, Louise Howard

4) Three Current Issues in Women's Mental Health

Chairs:  Marina Diaz-Marsa, Gislene Valadares

Presenters:  Silvia Gaviria, Marta Rondon

5) Intrafamily Violence and Mental Health: Intervention Strategies

Chair: Elena Levin - Presenter: Alejandra Maddocks

6) Psychosis and Gender

Chair:  Gemma Garcia-Parés  - Presenter: Judith Usall

7) The Feminization of Medicine

Chair: Elena Levin - Presenter: Alejandra Maddocks



22-26 November 2014 - Cartagena, Colombia

XXVIII APAL 2014 Congress

For info: http://psiquiatria.org.co/Apal2014/index-en.html

Presenters:  Silvia Gaviria, Donna Stewart