Saturday, 10 November 2007

Mary @ National Campaign against Anxiety conference

File photo Psykiatrifonden

On Thursday November 8 Crown Princess Mary attended the opening of a series of three conferences which begins a National Campaign against Anxiety in Denmark. Mary is the patron of the Danish Mental Health Fund and the opening of the campaign was held at the Panum Institute in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. The Danish Mental Health Fund is a private humanitarian fund (it does have some government funding of around 45%) with the aim to increase knowledge and awareness of mental illness, its causes, plus prevention and treatment. The Mental Health Fund carries out its goals through conferences, building awareness among school children, consulting with businesses and producing information materials and books, including online. It also runs a helpline.

Participants in the national campaign launch included Health Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, leading consultant Professor Raben Rosenberg, psychologist Michelle Ulrichsen, actor Farshad Kholghi, writer and priest Asger Baunsbak Jensen, Royal Theatre actor Henning Jensen (as MC) and consultant and chairman of PsykiatriFonden, Jes Gerlach.

With the promotion of the Campaign against Anxiety the focus is on the consequences of anxiety through both professional and personal presentations. There was an overview about the Campaign against Anxiety (background, goals and organisation) and also on the latest knowledge in the area (diagnoses, treatment, prevention). The professional presentations have been supplemented with actor Farshad Kholghi's personal account about anxiety and writer and priest Asger Baunsbak Jensen's experiences with depression and anxiety.

There will be further conferences in November and a continuing program in the campaign into 2008, during February and March.

Psykiatrifonden article in English (pdf) about the structure, activities and work of the Danish Mental Health Fund.
Campaign Against Anxiety website (in Danish)
Photos from Psykaitrifonden marking World Mental Health Day on October 10 - our post (pics are pdf)

The day before, on November 7, Crown Princess Mary was at an off-calendar seminar which she attended with colleagues of the Mary Foundation about vulnerable children and youth in Greenland. We can suppose from this that a project or projects for kids in Greenland will be a recipient of funds from the Mary Foundation in the future. Well conceived and targeted projects for complex social problems among indigenous people tend to be more beneficial long term than simple donations of money. Children in Greenland have very high rates of preventable diseases (such as chronic ear infections), inability to thrive because of social conditions and high rates of suicide, not unlike other indigenous peoples of the world. The mission of the Mary Foundation is to fund targeted and purposeful projects to improve the lives of children, among others, who experience problems, isolation or exclusion through circumstances beyond their control.
Mary Foundation
Crown Princess Mary establishes the Mary Foundation

Also, Denmark is fully occupied in the political sphere at present, with a general election to be held this coming Tuesday.
If you would like to read about the election, here are some links to stories in English from (from oldest to most recent):
Election ’07: Social Democrats split over EU referendum
Election '07: Party clours blurring in dead heat campaign
Election '07: PM says no change in no new tax policy
Election '07: Key parties will press for new social welfare changes
Election '07: Leading candidates (dis)agree
Election '07: The battle for the undecideds
Election '07: Election shuffle continues
Election '07: Poll: voters support changes in asylum regulations
Election '07: Ally to government: don't forget about us
Election '07: Youthful pragmatism

The current conservative prime minister is tipped to win. Co-incidentally Australia is also in the middle of an election, where the conservative incumbent is tipped to lose according to polls.

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