Conference on Mental Health, Humanism and Spirituality in New York

Distinguished psychiatrists, psychologists and academics gathered at the famous Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City September 27 to share ideas in a symposium on mental health, psychiatry and spirituality. The symposium was sponsored by the Fernando Rielo Foundation, the UTPL-NY, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, and the International College for Person-Centered Medicine.

The main speakers were the President of the Fernando Rielo Foundation, Jesús Fernández Hernández; Dr. Manuel Trujillo, Professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine; Dr. José María López Sevillano, who holds the Fernando Rielo Chair at the Pontifical University of Salamanca; Dr. Juan Mezzich, tenured professor of psychiatry and Director of the International Center for Mental Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, as well as Founding President of the International College of Person-Centered Medicine; Dr. Mar Álvarez Segura, psychiatrist specializing in child and adolescent trauma at the CEU Abat Oliba University in Barcelona; Dr. Jaime Cárcamo, psychiatrist specializing in immigrant populations. Additional presenters were Inés Sarmiento-Archer, artist; and Mohamed El-Filali, Muslim chaplain at Bergen New Bridge Medical Center and Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, both in New Jersey.

The speakers presented diverse topics related to mental health and scientific and human treatment of the person and the need to integrate an authentic spirituality in the field of mental health. The speakers were very open about the limitations encountered in the psychiatry and the psicology where a reductive conception of the human person limits the possibilities of effective treatment.

The presenters showed great interest by their questions, expressing their concerns regarding the implications of a model devoid of spirituality.

A growing sense of friendship characterized the symposium, and in their conclusions, the psychiatrist expressed the desire to continue the dialogue so as to learn more about the anthropology of Fernando Rielo, in order to perfect the existing models of integration between mental health and spirituality.

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