Led by renowned psychiatrist Dr. Nada Stotland, MD; an esteemed group of 10 psychologists and psychiatrists from the United States travelled to Austria in mid-October to embark on a Mental Health study tour. Our PDM colleague Daniela Probst organized a varied and enriching program for the group that focused on and around “Mental Health in Austria”.
During their three-day stay in Vienna, the participants first had the opportunity to visit the Sigmund Freud Museumlocated on Berggasse. Freud, the father of Psychoanalysis, lived and worked in this apartment, along with his family, for 47 years, before having to flee in 1938 due to the Annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany. Here the team of doctors participated in a stimulating and professional exchange with a Viennese psychotherapist, discussing her current work.
Afterwards, a lecture provided by a local doctor, focused on mental health and gave insights into the Austrian health system, touching upon preventive measures and general offers.
Additionally, during a visit to the Sigmund Freud Private University, founded in 2003, the tour group gained experience of university education and training opportunities in Austria.
To further assist the group in understanding first-hand mental health issues in Austria, a Shades Tour was provided. Participants had a chance to go on a guided tour throughout Vienna, while discussing the subject of addiction and drugs issues. To make the tour more impactful, the tour was conducted by a (former) addict. The doctors were able to truly appreciate addiction and were (for a short time) able to metaphorically experience life with addiction in Vienna, as well as the measures implemented for recovery and treatment.
Following a busy day of touring, a visit to a classic Viennese wine tavern (Heuriger) in Grinzing was a must and was a wonderful way of ending the day with plenty of opportunities for discussion and relaxation. The following day the tour embarked on a trip to Salzburg and upon arriving, the group toured the Frauengesundheitszentrum, ie. the Women’s Health Center of Salzburg. The center’s mission is to inform, advise and support women and girls on their health and psychological options.
At the conclusion of the tour, participants enjoyed the end of their “Mental Health Journey” with a classic coffee and cake in a traditional pastry shop and of course had to participate in the amazingly popular Sound of Music Tour, always an impressive highlight for Americans.