Mental Health Matters!

Jun 16, 2023

The ability to have access to proper mental health care is increasingly crucial and is emphasized by the growing number of people who struggle with behavioral health issues or mental health conditions. Psychiatry helps give an individual the power to make changes in their life, and to target the exact issues related to their mental or behavioral health challenges. The guidance and support an individual can receive is a key aspect of being able to diagnose, address, and put specific plans into place to heal and alleviate symptoms. This can drastically improve the quality of one’s life, and therefore make a world of difference.

Weill Cornell Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry, one of the most long-standing and prestigious academic psychiatry programs in the US, treats mood, anxiety, eating, attention deficit, personality, and other disorders. They offer expertise in illnesses across the lifespan and an approach that is sensitive to everyone’s life context. This week, the OMI was pleased to host the 28th Salzburg Weill Cornell Seminar in Psychiatry at Schloss Arenberg.

Dr. John W. Barnhill, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine, and Dr. W. Wolfgang Fleischhacker, President of the Medical University of Innsbruck, led the course together again this year. Dr. Jonathan Avery, Dr. Richard A. Friedman, Dr. Alison Hermann and Dr. Anna Buchheim joined them to teach for the OMI. 33 fellows from 24 countries were eager to hear the latest updates in psychiatry.

Content Focal Points

In addition to the many informal conversations among the fellows and faculty, the 2023 course curriculum offered a wide variety of classes that focused on acuity, with an emphasis on situations that can make clinicians uncomfortable. These included working with people who are pregnant, for example, and people whose mental illness has been treatment resistant or who have a problem with substance use and addiction. Other lectures focused on physician burnout, working with dying people, and the ways in which attachment theory underlies psychotherapy.

  • 33 fellows
  • 24 countries
  • 1 workshop on attachement theory and psychotherapy

Seven slots were reserved this week for fellows’ case presentations, giving them plenty of time to present cases from their own clinical experience and discuss their diagnoses with colleagues and faculty. Six cases were chosen by the faculty to be published in the OMI case library.

On Thursday, Dr. Buchheim led a workshop on attachment theory and psychotherapy, equipping fellows with theoretical knowledge and showing them videos from her own clinical practice to demonstrate the different concepts of attachment.

John W. Barnhill, MD

John W. Barnhill, MD

OMI Course Director

One goal of the seminar is to help educate future leaders in psychiatry. Other goals are at least as important: to develop camaraderie among psychiatrists from many countries; to discuss methods and approaches to mental health care; and to encourage the development of cutting-edge psychiatric knowledge while maintaining a humanistic approach to patients.