Peru is renown for its high altitude and proximity to Macchu Picchu. In Cusco, Peru, breathtaking mountains are seen every which way you turn. Family, education and fun are highly valued in this city. Organized family festivals, which include live bands, raffles, and lots of food, are held monthly in the backyard of an elementary school. Informal weekly parties with dancing, food and alcohol at someone's home are also commonplace. Many of the struggles which affect other societies may be offset by family and community support. Nonetheless, tourism being the main source of income for many, the people of Cusco are hit hard by the recession and have their share of distress. Unfortunately, mental health services in Cusco remain scarce and even unknown. A form of milieu therapy at one of the group homes for teenage girls seem to offer the necessary treatment and support that they need before being returned to the community. However, generally those who suffer from mental disorders or substance abuse have limited or no access to the few resources available in Cusco. Some Peruvians, especially amongst the more educated younger generation, are beginning to recognize the importance of good mental hygiene and pursue careers to address these problems.
In December 2007, Dr. Ng participated in the People to People Ambassador Programs. She traveled overseas with thirteen other U.S. delegates to share and explore various school psychology issues with mental health professionals in China. The delegation visited hospitals, schools and higher education training institutes in Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai. The topics discussed during these visits included autism, mood and psychotic disorders, family roles, cultural issues, assessment, and prevention and intervention services for children and their families. For more information on this trip, please go to www.ambassadorprograms.org/journal/pdf/Mowder.pdf.
In Cuba, it was nice to hear the mention of psychologists being in training or working with families at orphanages while the country's leaders worked on ensuring human rights.
New Orleans 2013
New Orleans still has a ways to go after Hurricane Irene. Good mental health goes hand in hand with the place you call home.
Amsterdam, Holland 2011
Special areas of interest for psychologists in the Netherlands include substance abuse and sex work.
Brussels, Belgium 2011
Discussions in the European Financial Crisis took place in Brussels. One can only imagine the toll it takes on the citizens' psychological well-being.
The British Psychological Society conference presented topics such as the "distressed" or Type D personality, perfectionism and learning from instructional animations. All very fascinating!
Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis born in Vienna.
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