Professor Ayuso-Mateos’ visit was co-sponsored by the Association of “ Spanish Researchers in Australia-Pacific” (SRAP) and “Instituto Cervantes Sydney”
Prof Ayuso-Mateos is Chairman and Director of the Department of Psychiatry of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), and clinically affiliated with the Hospital Universitario de la Princesa. He is Principal Investigator of the Centro de Investigación Biológica en Red de Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), the Spanish Mental Health Research Network, and also directs the Affective Disorders Multidisciplinary Research Group.
He gave a talk at the Centre for Disability Research and Policy; the Menzies Centre for Health Policy; and the Faculty of Health Sciences at Sydney uni (Wednesday, 5 September).
In the evening, he gave a talk at the Cervantes Institute titled Mental Health in Spain “Why is so different?”. Our colleagues Professor Luis Salvador-Carulla and Dr Joaquin Valderrama attended the event (see picture below).
Professor Ayuso presented data on the resilience of the mental health care system in Spain during the financial crisis 2008-2016. He explained how suicide rates did not increase as it could be expected, and they are actually 30% below Australian rates. He explained the importance of the response of the mental health care system during this period, particularly its organisation in catchment areas, its universal access free of charge at the point of contact and its level of coordination. He also discussed the importance of social cohesion and connectedness during this period and the risks that ageing and demographic trends may have on social cohesion in the coming future.