AIIA Online Event: The Psychological Cost of War with Sir Simon Wessely


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Australian Institute of International Affairs - Victoria


The Psychological Cost of War

Tue, 8 Dec 2020
19:00 - 20:00


Professor Sir Simon Wessely in conversation with Richard Iron CMG OBE.

War has a profound impact on a person, injuring more than just the body. Whilst war creates mental suffering, it is ultimately unclear how deep these mental wounds are.

From World War I and II, to Vietnam, and to the Gulf War, the concept and definition of war has changed over time. Each war has resulted in differing psychological casualties and new definitions for previously misunderstood phenomena.

Yet while we have made significant strides in recognising not just the physical but also the mental cost of conflict, controversy continues to rage over how to define and classify the mental suffering caused by war.

Further, the advancement of new types of warfare, such as asymmetric and drone warfare, brings changes not only to how people fight but also how they process and cope with war in the aftermath.

How have the psychological impacts of war changed over time? What are the psychological consequences of war and trauma? How differently does war affect combatants and civilians?

In the next of his acclaimed In Conversation series, Richard Iron talks to Professor Sir Simon Wessely about the psychological cost of war to both combatants and civilians.

Professor Sir Simon Wessely is Professor of Psychological Medicine and Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London and a Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist at King’s College and the Maudsley Hospitals. Simon Wessely studied medicine and history of art at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and finished his medical training at University College Oxford, graduating in 1981. He obtained his medical membership in Newcastle, before moving to London to train in psychiatry at the Maudsley. He has a Master’s and Doctorate in epidemiology. He is a Foundation Senior Investigator of the National Institute for Health Research, past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal Society of Medicine and is also chairing the Independent Review into the Mental Health Act. In 2020 he was appointed to the Council of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). He has over 800 original publications, with an emphasis on the boundaries of medicine and psychiatry, unexplained symptoms and syndromes, population reactions to adversity, military health, epidemiology and others.  He founded the King’s Centre for Military Health Research, which is now the main source of information on the health and well-being of the UK Armed Forces past and present and has been Civilian Consultant Advisor in Psychiatry to the British Army since 2001, He has co-authored books on chronic fatigue syndrome, randomised controlled trials and a history of military psychiatry, and is a trustee of Combat Stress.  

Richard Iron CMG OBE is President of AIIA Victoria. He previously served in the British Army in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Oman, the Balkans, Sierra Leone and Iraq. He was a visiting fellow at the Changing Character of War programme at the University of Oxford and was lead editor of British Generals in Blair's Wars.

This event is online only. Registrations close on Tuesday 8 December at 3pm, after which you will receive a follow-up email containing details of how to join the Zoom webinar. The webinar will commence at 7pm AEDT (Melbourne time, UTC+11).

AIIA Victoria gratefully acknowledges the Walter Mangold Trust Fund for its ongoing support of our young members.

To download the pdf flyer please click here

Ticket TypePrice
AIIA VIC Member $0Any Membership Required* Log in $0.00 Membership Required
AIIA VIC Student Member $0Any Membership Required* Log in $0.00 Membership Required
AIIA Member (other Branches) $0 $0.00  
Student Non-Member $5 $5.00  
Non-Member $10 $10.00  
Total: 0.00

Dyason House, 124 Jolimont Road, East Melbourne, Victoria, 3002, Australia

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Event Date 08/12/2020
Event End Date 08/12/2020
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