IPA Bulletin: VOLUME 37, NO. 3 • SEPTEMBER 2020
William Reichman, IPA President
Dear Colleagues and IPA members,
Among the many notable attributes of IPA is the remarkable global reach of our organization. Our members are leading experts in geriatric mental health from all corners of the world. There are many obvious advantages of having such a culturally diverse membership. With the advent of increasingly accessible and affordable virtual technologies, our world is indeed becoming closer and our ability to share our expertise and experience with each other has been dramatically enhanced. Among our growing portfolio of IPA products and services, we recently held our inaugural IPA café. Led by Drs. Daisy Acosta and Maria Lapid, I found this particular program to be a fantastic opportunity to establish new international collegial connections and to become reacquainted with old friends. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this new IPA offering, here are the basics of the concept that Daisy and Maria developed.
“IPA café is an online live interactive networking opportunity to allow open discussion between IPA members and future members. This program is designed as a virtual meet-up similar to coffee breaks (or cocktail hours), providing mental health professionals a forum to connect with peers for informal conversations around a single topic. Topics are posed as questions, and no preparation is required to attend the event.”
The inaugural program, held a few weeks ago, was a lively discussion among IPA members and colleagues who shared their experiences working in mental health care for older adults in the time of COVID-19, including the impact of social distancing on their work. Several of us who attended openly discussed the multitude of challenges we have faced in our professional and personal lives with the advent of the pandemic. Despite our varied backgrounds and cultures, there were many similarities of experiences and feelings that we shared. To give you a sense of the eclectic nature of the perspectives offered, these are the different countries from where we were joined by café attendees:
|Australia||Philippines||Chile||United States (including Puerto Rico)|
Programs like the IPA café, our recently launched Webinar series, and our upcoming virtual Congress exemplify the value of IPA membership and the increasingly broad reach and impact of our organization. Members like you are increasingly coming forward and volunteering to serve on our three IPA Task forces (Membership, Programs and Services, and Advocacy and Public Awareness). Others are offering their support to individual activities such as our online courses that are under development and updates to our IPA developed practice guidelines. Also, contributing to our growing advocacy efforts are areas where more of our members are seeking to get involved in the life of this organization. I encourage you to consider whether you may wish to join your colleagues and participate more fully in our efforts. As IPA President, I would be happy to chat with you about your interests and whether together we can find an activity or two that you might like to directly participate in to advance our goals while becoming professionally and personally rewarded in the process.
Please email me (IPAPresident@ipa-online.org) and let me know if you are interested in learning more about our activities and how you may contribute. I look forward to seeing you all at our Congress; the program which offers live and On-Demand looks fantastic! Please don’t forget to register as soon as possible.
You have my very best wishes for a safe, healthy and rewarding season.