Our biennial conferences have several objectives:
- To provide accurate, up-to-date information
- To showcase the achievements of developing family organizations
- To educate and train family delegates
- To build confidence and solidarity
- To create and strengthen networks
- To promote WFSAD's mission
Conference 2004, Chennai: "The Power of the Family Movement: Sharing the Knowledge." Our hosts were Aasha, the oldest family support and advocacy organization in India, and the newly formed National Federation for the Mentally Ill, an all-India association of family organizations. The conference was divided into two parts, first, a training and education section for family leaders, and second, the conference proper, with more general topics, from creating employment opportunities, providing housing, current treatment options, how research can show us how to care, and more. WFSAD General Meeting of Members brought together some of our twenty-five national family organization leaders, a vast source of inspiration and knowledge.
Conference 2002, Kyoto: "The Power of the Family Movement: Catalyst for Change." Cohosted by Zenkaren, the Japanese family self-support organization. Attended by 2,800 delegates, including 75 overseas participants from 22 countries. Stirring keynote address by Dr. Radha Shankar, a member of WFSADs Board and a long-time activist in India. Prof. Fred Frese III, a NAMI representative and schizophrenia survivor, and his wife Penny told of their personal experience with schizophrenia. Inaugural Bill Jefferies Memorial Lecture delivered by Dr. Sean Flynn. Symposia and workshops on a wide range of topics, most with simultaneous translation.
Conference 2000, Jerusalem: "Strengthening Families Through Empowerment" Hosted by ENOSH, the Israel Mental Health Association. Brought together international speakers from many parts of the world. Emphasis on knowledge provision, cultural differences, stigma. Keynote speaker: Prof. R. Srinivasa Murthy, NIMHANS India and the World Health Organization. All national and fifty or so smaller groups sent delegates. The Proceedings (943k PDF file) available online by clicking on the link to the left or in hardcopy by contacting the WFSAD office.
Conference 1998, Hamburg: "Families As Partners In Care" Launch of Families as Partners in Care program; forum for the new Kenya Schizophrenia Foundation and Uganda Schizophrenia Fellowship - inter cultural views on beliefs, treatment, burden and the differences between the "haves" and "have nots". Forty organizations attended.
Conference 1996, Rotterdam: "Family Matters" Focused on the courage of families in the face of declining services. The new Argentine organization presented a compelling view. Twenty organizations attended.
Conference 1993 Dublin - Common theme emerging was the many hurdles in obtaining treatment.