Dear Colleagues,
It is indeed a pleasure that the excellent team from Abu Dhabi is organizing the XIV World Congress of World Association For Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR) from 9th -11th December 2021 amid the difficult and unprecedented times. 
The theme of this World Congress is “Mental health, rights, equity, recovery and social inclusion in testing times,” which is apt as the pandemic has engulfed the whole world at different time lines and with varied severities, countries across the globe have gone for lockdowns ranging from partial to complete. 
We have seen that the pandemic has crumbled the health systems even in the most advanced economies. The amount of human suffering caused in low- and middle-income countries is tremendous and unfathomable. As curbing the pandemic was the priority health systems across the world were geared for the same, sidelining the other health issues. Despite which, unusual number of deaths added to the woes of families and newer challenges were thrown to the world on a day today basis. 
Owing to the heightened susceptibility for stress, the persons with mental illness were one among the hard hit populations.  They could not attend to their treatment facilities, rehabilitation facilities, or not able to access medicines. Their families faced colossal economic losses due to lockdown. 
Access to basic requirements was difficult. The health care systems started tele consultations, and use of various online services. This congress will be highlighting some of these challenges as all of you will be experiencing a Hybrid Congress.
The World Health Organization has launched the initiative on " The WHO guidance and technical packages on community mental health services: Promoting person-centered and rights-based approaches" on Jun 10, 2021. This world Congress is striving to promote Person centered and rights-based approaches in community mental health services. Participation of persons with mental health issues and their families is an important component of the World Congress and happy to welcome proposals on these aspects.
Along with these areas this congress will address an array of themes especially on Human rights, Recovery, Community participation and inclusiveness apart from other topics in the announcement catering to the needs of all involved in the area of mental health. The organizers are working very hard to face the challenge of creating a very successful World Congress of WAPR in Abu Dhabi.
As the President of WAPR I am pleased to invite all of you to join us in Abu Dhabi in Person or through web and other social media. 
I take this opportunity to thank the organizers in Abu Dhabi under the able leadership of Dr. Medhat Elsabbahy and Dr. Mohamed Al Garhy and their team.
Prof. Thyloth Murali
Prof. and Head Dep. of Psychiatry
M.S.Ramaiah Medical College and Hospitals