On September 29, 2018, the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) will confer its highest award, a President’s Commendation, to all psychiatrists in Canada in appreciation for their outstanding contribution to improving the mental health of Canadians.
“It is my distinct privilege to use my President’s Commendation to honour all psychiatrists in Canada,” said CPA President, Dr. Nachiketa Sinha. “Especially those that would not normally receive recognition or be publicly appreciated for their work on the front lines, whether it be striving to improve the lives of vulnerable populations, practising in underserviced regions, or supporting conditions to improve the mental health of Canadians at the community level.”
The commendation will be presented at the President’s Gala on the last evening of the CPA’s 68th Annual Conference in Toronto.
Psychiatrists were asked to submit stories to help illustrate the care and dedication they demonstrate daily to serve and support patients with mental health needs.
“I have known many unsung heroes who work on the front lines in underserviced areas. Most of us work long hours. I am now in my seventies and still work part time because of the need,” said Dr. Idumban Asoka Rajan, a psychiatrist from Windsor, Ontario. “These small town psychiatrists enjoy their demanding work because of the intense connection between themselves and the community.”
Dr. Sinha thanked all psychiatrists and reminded them of the important role they play in not only providing care and treatment, but also advocating for better access to services and improved mental health policy initiatives.
“I continue to be inspired by my colleagues and the work they do every day to advocate for a better system of care and to improve the quality of life of their patients,” said Dr. Sinha. “We need to keep hearing from all psychiatrists because in our collective voice is strength, and the power to effect change – change that will benefit our patients. For, in our voice, lies the voice of those who suffer from the misunderstood realities of mental illness. This darkness will end and dawn will come.”
The Canadian Psychiatric Association is the national voice for Canada’s 5,200 psychiatrists and more than 900 psychiatric residents. Founded in 1951, the CPA is dedicated to promoting an environment that fosters excellence in the provision of clinical care, education and research.