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ACRM Annual Conference Special Symposium

Brucker International Symposium


The Refugee Crisis in Greece and the Response of Mental Health Professional Community #334014

THU 26 OCT // 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM
Brucker International Symposium Presenter: Μaria Vlassopoulos, PhD; University of Athens School of Medicine: at ACRM Conference: Atlanta USA


Μaria Vlassopoulos, PhD
Assistant Professor of Language and Communication Pathology, 1st Psychiatric Department
University of Athens School of Medicine
Athens, Greece

Dr. Vlassopoulos will inspire us! This symposium will Fofi Constantinidou, PhD, CCC-SLP, FACRMexplore significant unmet needs and the contribution of rehabilitation specialists working in teams.

The refugee crisis and related challenges are global issues of relevance to rehabilitation medicine and it is important that we, as a rehabilitation community, acknowledge its relevance and importance.”

Fofi Constantinidou, PhD, CCC-SLP, FACRM, Professor of Language Disorders & Clinical Neuropsychology, Center for Applied Neuroscience University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus




Studies have shown that the refugee experience potentially has such adverse effects that a mental health delivery system in refugee camps is imperative. In most cases, these services are provided by social workers, nurses, and other mental health personnel, such psychiatrists or psychologists. Although at some level cooperation between the different humanitarian groups, NGOs and other agencies may be present, each service provider answers to his/ her respective agency and there may not be an overall plan for the operation of these programmes. This lack of leadership may result in fragmentation and poor coordination. Further barriers to treatment are, amongst others, poor working conditions, frequent staff turnover and burnout, language and cultural barriers as well as, more seriously, the lack of individual follow-up of the refugees as they move from camp to the other, often in different countries.


  1. Become aware of the challenges regarding the refugee situation in Europe and particularly in Greece
  2. Identify the particular problems pertaining to the development of comprehensive services for this population
  3. Determine some strategies which specialists may use to alleviate the communication gaps between services

ABOUT DR Vlassopoulos

Maria VlassopoulosDr. Μaria Vlassopoulos is Assistant Professor in Language and Communication Pathology in the University of Athens School of Medicine. Her teaching experience consists of pre- and post-graduate classes and seminars for medical students, as well as speech and language therapists. Her clinical as well as managerial experience consists of the organization and coordination of the Early Intervention Programme for children with neurodevelopmental disorders at the Child and Adolescent Unit of the Community Mental Health Centre (CMHC) of Byron-Kessariani, 1st Department of Psychiatry, in Athens from 1984 to the present day. She has worked extensively in prevention in the community where she works, and has organized and conducted numerous seminars and other educational activities. Since 2006 she has been a delegate of the Comité Permanent de Liaison des Orthophonistes-Logopèdes (CPLOL) of the European Union, where she was Vice-President (Education) from 2009 – 2016. Her research interests include developmental language impairments and their long-term outcomes, multicultural /multilingual developmental language disorders and their differential diagnosis, as well as service delivery in times of economic difficulties. She has a number of publications in both English-language and Greek scientific journals. In 2016 she organized a scientific symposium on the refugee crisis and migrant children’s mental health challenges and is particularly interested in this vulnerable population.

Dr. Bernard Brucker

Dr. Bernard Brucker


Each year, the International Networking Group sponsors the Brucker International Symposium held during the ACRM Annual Conference. This ING signature event was established in 2008 in memory of Dr. Bernard (Bernie) Brucker, a long-standing ACRM member, who died unexpectedly that year. Originally established as a lecture luncheon, the event has become a popular ACRM tradition and continues today as a very special symposium.

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