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Impressions from Today’s Meeting of the Trauma Working Group of the NGO on Mental Health in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations

Today’s program “The Fight for the Suffering Other” was the annual meeting of the Trauma Working Group of the NGO on Mental Health, and I had the great honor of moderating the discussion following the outstanding presentations by Dr. Spyros Orfanos from NYU and Dr. Cindy Veldhuis from Columbia University. The presenters addressed some of the most pressing and depressing issues of our current times, the global refugee crisis and the current socio-political climate that legitimizes and emboldens discrimination, hate speech, and violence based on differences in religion, race, sexual orientation and other issues that separate and divide.

The lively and thought provoking discussion that followed reflected the general feeling in the audience, made up of psychologists, psychiatrists, humanitarian workers and others, that we are living in a time of crisis in terms of the views of society and it most fundamental values. There was a call to create communities that get together and act in various ways to be advocates of change, help support vulnerable groups and keep our own hope that progress on issues of social justice will not be reversed and will continue to ensure the well-being of all.

                  Irit Felsen

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