A Douglas Institute International Symposium


Some 200 clinicians, researchers and service users will meet at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute on December 8 to discuss the concept of recovery for people living with a psychotic disorder.

Empirical data and clinical evidence show that recovery is possible, even for a person living with a serious mental health disorder. "We will be hearing from experts from the United States and England who have studied ways in how recovery can be facilitated within the psychiatric care system,” stated Ridha Joober, MD, PhD, research director at the Douglas Institute and Symposium Chair.

Recovery is not necessarily about curing the disorder

Is recovery inexorably linked to the improvement or elimination of symptoms? This question will be addressed during the Symposium. A person living with a psychotic disorder can, with the support of family and friends, develop strategies and obtain treatment in order to resume a normal life and contribute actively to society according to his or her abilities. The experiences of Mike Santoro and Janina Kamaroff provide eloquent testimony to this.

Janina Komaroff’s journey

Janina is a young woman with a Master’s degree in political science who was working as a United Nations volunteer in Burundi when disturbing thoughts began to cloud her mind. Then, on a flight back home one day, she realized that she was finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish between what was real and what was not. Shortly after her return to Montreal, she began treatment for what would subsequently be diagnosed as a psychotic disorder. That was in 2008. Since then, Janina has been on a very real journey: her road to recovery. She has also developed a keen interest in the various research carried out on this subject here and abroad. She works with the team led by Myra Piat, PhD, a Douglas researcher and symposium organizing committee member.

Mike Santoro’s story

Have you heard of Mike Santoro? He writes a blog and speaks regularly on the strategies he has developed to help him lead a full and balanced life. For over 25 years, Mr. Santoro has lived with bipolar disorder combined with psychotic episodes. Relentless and determined, he has learned to identify the factors causing his symptoms and what steps he needs to take to control them. Mr. Santoro will be speaking at the Symposium. Visit his Web site.

6th Annual symposium on psychotic disorders

The 6th annual symposium on psychotic disorders will be held at the Douglas Institute, December 8th, 2010, from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Visit the symposium page for a detailed program and to register.

Psychotic Disorders - Statistics

  • Young people (men aged 15-30 and women 18-35) are at particularly high risk
  • Around 4 to 5 out of every 100 young people will experience a psychotic episode at some point in their lifetime.

Organizing committee
Drs. Ridha Joober, Myra Piat, Ashok Malla,Amparo Garcia, Ella Amir, Jo-Ann Laurin, and Elaine Mancina- Organization of Academic Events-BCEF. The Symposium is organized by the Department of Psychiatry, McGill University & the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

About the Douglas Institute Foundation
The Douglas Institute Foundation is proud to support Ashok Malla, MD, FRCPC and Ridha Joober, MD, PhD, and theirresearch in mental health. The Foundation thanks its donors and volunteers for their generosity and thoughtfulness. Together, we invest in healthy minds.


Florence Meney
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