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Dear Members of the Slovak Psychiatry Association,

SPA is also a civic association, i.e. it is primarily a voluntary and politically independent organization, joining medical professionals mostly from the ranks of psychiatry and related fields. Currently it has nearly 550 members and 11 sections.

This is an extensive membership base and we primarily want every single member to feel that the SPA membership offers them more self-assured and secure in the field of psychiatry. We believe there are two ways to achieve this state.First, there is education and second is awareness. The Committee´s main objective is therefore to promote continuous education in our fast-evolving field.

As the Committee we are planning to assist in organizing not only lecturing events, but also workshops which would provide a bigger space for mutual professional dialogue.In this respect, we also want to mobilize the work of individual sections and give them space to address not only their members but all of us.

We also intend to develop a system of awards for exceptional work in our field.We are a part of the European and world psychiatric community and it is necessary for theworld leaders in our field to perceive as equal partners. We acknowledge that it is often difficult to retain this position, particularly due to funding requirements. We believe that every public recognition will support the creative potential of the award-winner and will become a part of their motivation system, an incentive to continue and further develop their work.

We intend to change our website in order to make it more frequently visited. In addition to the latest information from our field, it should give every SPA member the chance to voice their opinion, propose a topic for discussion as well as debate and comment on the issues at hand. Because the supreme body of SPA is not the Committee, but the Assembly of Members.

The SAP Committee does not and cannot have the ambition to resolve all the acute problems of our field.The SkMAand its branches are in a position of civic association which, to some extent, also limits its tasks and competencies in establishing and maintaining contact with government authorities and organizations. Its uniqueness and power, however, lie in high professional erudition. It unites many experts and its voice should therefore be heard.

You surely agree that the Committee has no capacity to deal on a highly professional manner with every single issue that occurs, especially in a restricted time frame. However, we believe that our psychiatric community has more engaged experts whose opinions may be crucial in dealing with the problems. We are therefore asking for your constructive and active cooperation.

From an individual´s perspective, four years often seem a longer period than from the perspective of the society. We already knowthat enforcing "pioneering and innovative" changes will not be easy and very often it may be even impossible. With your help, however, we will be trying. Last but not least, we would like to emphasize that all plans are easier to implement on the basis of trust, fairness and open dialogue, therefore it is these values we see as a platform for our further work.

Committee of SPA SkMA