Anton Došen: A charismatic and committed pioneer for mental health in people with intellectual disability

This presentation will highlight the enormous contribution of Anton Došen for mental health in people with intellectual disability. He was a psychiatrist and child psychiatrist who was emeritus professor of” Psychiatric Aspects of Intellectual Disability at the Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Anton Došen was a charismatic and committed pioneer in the field of intellectual disability and mental health and worked tirelessly for almost 40 years to raise awareness, develop and participate in numerous training activities, seminars, workshops, conferences and congresses. He was a recognised authority internationally in the field of mental health and intellectual disability in response to deinstitutionalisation and normalisation that dominated the services for people with intellectual disability in the 1980s and 1990s. He was among the founders of The European Association for Mental Health in Mental Retardation (EAMHMR, currently EAMHID). He became the first president and retained the title of the honorary president of the EAMHID Association after his retirement. He served as the chairman of the Section Mental Retardation, World Psychiatric Association bringing closely generic psychiatry with intellectual disability. Anton Došen was the author of numerous professional publications and including books on mental health problems in persons with developmental disorders, intellectual disability and autism. He acted as expert in different national and international projects and was a member of advisory and editorial boards of several professional national and international journals. He trained specialists in providing professional help to people with mental health problems and intellectual disability all over Europe including his native country of Croatia by helping them to develop specialist services. He formed strong collaboration with the NADD – National Association for Dually Diagnosed – in US and organised several joined activities and projects. In his work, he emphasised the developmental perspective and integrative approach in the assessment, diagnostics and treatment of psychiatric disorders and behaviour problems among people with intellectual disability and autism. His method of applying the developmental perspective and integrative approach was widely used in the clinical practice of multi – professionals in the Netherlands and Belgium as well as in other countries. He organised the first European Congress of Mental Health in Intellectual Disability in Amsterdam in 1995 that continued to take place regularly and the 14th Congress took place in Helsinki in September 2023. Anton was liked and respected very much by his colleagues, trainees and students. He was a kind and gentle person committed to helping and support people with intellectual disability and mental health problems, their families and their carers to whom they turned with confidence for advice and support.

Biografie Nick Bouras

Nick is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Health Service Research and Population Department. He has a long standing of 40 years career in psychiatry and mental health at Guy’s Hospital, King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital and affiliated organisations. For 25 years was a Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of specialist MH in ID services.

He led the development of the first community based mental health service in the UK for people with intellectual disability and systematically studied and evaluated the re-provision of services, following the closure of long stay institutions. He planned and successfully implemented the closure and re-provision of three large institutions in London area. He initiated and developed the Estia (Evaluation, Services, Training, Intervention Assessment) Centre. Nick Bouras was Chairman on several academic and professional committees including Member of the Council and the Executive Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, President Royal Society of Medicine – Psychiatry, Member of NICE Guidelines Groups, European Associations, Elected Honorary Member of the World Psychiatric Association, Fellow Royal College of Psychiatrist and Fellow Royal Society of Medicine. He was among the founders of the European association of Mental health in ID. He published widely mostly of the determinants of behaviour for people with MH and ID. Several of his publications have been translated in different languages.

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