First Greek Australian fellowship launched

first_imgDirectors of Melbourne’s Neuropsychiatry Centre (MNC) have officially launched the first Greek Australian Fellowship in Neuropsychiatry. The initiative will grant two promising young clinical researchers from Athens’ National and Kapodistrian University the opportunity to participate in clinical research at the Royal Melbourne and Sunshine hospitals. The launch took place on Thursday evening at the University of Melbourne by Professor Christos Pantelis and Professor Dennis Velakoulis, both of whom took part in the World Federation Societies of Biological Psychiatry (WFSBP) in Athens earlier this year. Despite the difficulties being faced by Greece economically, the pair were taken by the researchers’ continued efforts in undertaking exciting research projects with limited resources. Having teamed up with Athens-based Professor Nikos Stefanis and Professor Constantin Soldatos, the university expects to welcome its first Greek researchers in 2016, with a vision to continue to foster ties between the two institutions with the pursuit of high-quality research. As part of the inauguration, the university hosted Professor Stefanis and his wife, journalist Rika Vayianni, in an open seminar on the psychological impact of the economic crisis on the people of Greece. Professor Stefanis presented a number of findings regarding the changing psychological health of Greek locals, drawing upon data from 2008 to 2013. The research highlighted a significant increase in cases of severe depression and a clear link with the growing rates of suicide, while unemployment was discovered to have a distinct link with those choosing to take their own lives – 533 suicide deaths were recorded in 2013, compared to 328 in 2007. The impacts of the crisis were not limited to psychological health however, with a number of diseases resurfacing including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, mostly attributed to environmental triggers, which could have been better managed had funding not been withdrawn from necessary services. Ms Vayianni took a different approach to the discussion, highlighting the many contributions Greeks have made to the world, dating back to ancient civilisation. She referred to a metaphoric ‘bank in the sky’, in which she said the Greek nation is extremely wealthy, though unfortunately does not deal in a monetary currency.Professor Velakoulis also delivered a message on behalf of Professor Soldatos, followed by a video message by Greek Ambassador Harry Dafaranos. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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