ESTSS Presidential Adress

ESTSS was a very active and growing Society working on excellent new projects despite the ongoing pandemic-related challenges in 2021. It is hard to list all the exciting achievements of the ESTSS community in 2021, which makes us proud being a member of the ESTSS family.

We had a series of highly successful online events in 2021, such as European Journal of Psychotraumatology (EJPT)  10th Anniversary chaired by the EJPT Founding Editor-In-Chief Prof. M. Olff, ESTSS Young Minds Spring (YMS) online co-chaired by Prof. R.Kleber and Prof. J. Javakhishvili. ESTSS Virtual conference dedicated to COVID and Mental Health in June 2021 was an outstanding and highly successful conference on the most relevant topic of the year chaired by the young leaders of the ESTSS Haan,  A.Lotzin,  M.Djelantic, and M.Eidhof. Dr. Kirsi Peltonen from Finland, received a 2021 Young Minds of Psychotraumatology Award at this ESTSS virtual event.

ESTSS aims to promote high-quality research on trauma-related issues in Europe. One of the most remarkable achievements of the ESTSS is ESTSS ADJUST study with 11 countries across Europe studying the coping and adjustment to the COVID related-stressors, PI of the study is Prof. A.Lotzin. With an impressive sample size of 15,000 and a longitudinal design, this is one of the most significant studies on the effects of the pandemic on mental health globally. The first findings of the study are available in the EJPT already.

ESTSS is actively supporting young professionals. The ESTSS International Future Leadership Group, launched in 2021 in Rotterdam, was a remarkable success for the ESTSS and an excellent opportunity for young professionals from the ESTSS member societies to develop their international collaboration qualifications. In 2022 we are recruiting a new Future Leadership Group, and the call was released in November 2022 to all ESTSS member societies.

There is a growing annually interest in ESTSS membership with a new societies and institutes focused on trauma emerging in Europe. Furthermore, the ESTSS is actively collaborating with other international organizations, such as EMDR Europe, ISTSS, or EFPA. To disseminate high standards of the ESTSS training and trauma care in Europe ESTSS was active in implementing ESTSS curriculum, and preparing for launching a pilot training project in the Ukraine.

The main reason professional societies exist is that we need networks with colleagues in the same field. The core of societies are meetings, professional exchanges, which inspire us with new ideas and motive us. The COVID pandemic took away a lot of social aspects from our Society. Zoom meetings and emails is

not enough. Due to an unpredictable situation with the pandemic, we had to postpone for one more year ESTSS major conference, which will now be held in Belfast in June 2023. To fill the gap of meetings, we aim to organize ESTSS Winter Webinar Series in January and February. As the large meetings are at still risk for organization, we hope that smaller meetings of ESTSS Task Forces, Special Interests groups, or smaller scale Workshops will be possible in 2022.

The ESTSS is a healthy and active society and a network of clinicians and researchers by shared values and dedication. ESTSS is a platform for professionals from across Europe who share similar interests to meet. You are all highly welcome to be a part of the special interstests group to join or initiate a new special interest group or Task Force at the ESTSS in 2022.

I wish you the relaxing Winter Holiday Season and all the best for the year 2022!

Prof. Evaldas Kazlauskas

ESTSS President