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The World Psychiatric Association is an international umbrella organisation of psychiatric societies.

World Psychiatric Association
The WPA logo consists of the Greek letter Psi superimposed on an abstract globe, such that the globe's southern hemisphere is set within the curved part of the letter.
WPA logo
PredecessorAssociation for the Organization of World Congresses of Psychiatry
Formation1961; 58 years ago (1961)
HeadquartersWPA Secretariat
  • Psychiatric Hospital, 2, ch. du Petit-Bel-Air, Chêne-Bourg, Geneva, Switzerland
Coordinates46°12′19″N 6°12′27″E / 46.205379°N 6.207383°E / 46.205379; 6.207383Coordinates: 46°12′19″N 6°12′27″E / 46.205379°N 6.207383°E / 46.205379; 6.207383
Secretary General
Roy Abraham Kallivayalil
Helen Herrman
Afzal Javed
Main organ
World Psychiatry
World Psychiatric Association regional congress 2014


Objectives and goalsEdit

Originally created to produce world psychiatric congresses, it has evolved to hold regional meetings, to promote professional education and to set ethical, scientific and treatment standards for psychiatry.


Jean Delay was the first president of the Association for the Organization of World Congresses of Psychiatry when it was started in 1950.[1] Donald Ewen Cameron became president of the World Psychiatric Association at its formal founding in 1961.[1][4]

In February 1983, the Soviet All-Union Society of Neurologists and Psychiatrists resigned from the World Psychiatric Association. This resignation occurred as a preemptive action amid a movement to expel the Soviet body from the global organization due to political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union.[5][6] The Soviet body was conditionally readmitted into the World Psychiatric Association in 1989, following some improvements in human rights conditions,[7] and an intensive debate among the association's delegates, in which the acting secretary of the Soviet delegation issued a statement conceding that "previous political conditions in the U.S.S.R. created an environment in which psychiatric abuse occurred, including for nonmedical reasons."[8]

As of 2017, Helen Herrman is president, and Afzal Javed is president-elect.[3]

World Congress locations and WPA leadership[4]
Year World Congress President Secretary General
Name Country Name Country
1950 Paris, France Jean Delay France Henry Ey France
1957 Zurich, Switzerland
1961 Montreal, Canada D. Ewen Cameron Canada
1966 Madrid, Spain Juan J. López-Ibor Spain Denis Leigh U.K.
1972 Mexico City, Mexico Howard Rome USA
1977 Hawaii, USA Pierre Pichot France Peter Berner Austria
1983 Vienna, Austria Costas Stefanis Greece Fini Schulsinger Denmark
1989 Athens, Greece Jorge A. Costa e Silva Brazil Juan J. López-Ibor, Jr. Spain
1993 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Felice Lieh-Mak Hong Kong
1996 Madrid, Spain Norman Sartorius Switzerland Juan Mezzich USA
1999 Hamburg, Germany Juan J. López-Ibor, Jr. Spain
2002 Yokohama, Japan Ahmed Okasha Egypt John Cox U.K.
2005 Cairo, Egypt Juan Mezzich USA
2008 Prague, Czech Republic Mario Maj Italy Levent Kuey Turkey
2011 Buenos Aires, Argentina Pedro Ruiz[9] USA
2014 Madrid, Spain[10] Dinesh Bhugra[3] U.K. Roy Abraham Kallivayalil[3] India
2017 Berlin, Germany[11] Helen Herrman[3] Australia ? ?
2018 Mexico City Helen Herrman[3] Australia ? ?


As of 2016, the institutional members of the World Psychiatric Association are 138 national psychiatric societies in 118 countries representing more than 200,000 psychiatrists worldwide.[2] The societies are clustered into 18 zones and four regions: the Americas, Europe, Africa & Middle East, and Asia & Australasia.[12] Representatives of the societies constitute the World Psychiatric Association General Assembly, the governing body of the organization.[12][13] The association also has individual members and there are provisions for affiliation of other associations (e.g., those dealing with a particular topic in psychiatry).[12][13] There are 72 scientific sections.[2]


The official publication of the association is World Psychiatry.[14] World Psychiatry and the association's official books are published by Wiley-Blackwell.[15] WPA also self-publishes a quarterly newsletter on its website.[16]

Several WPA scientific sections have their own official journals and newsletters:

Activitas Nervosa Superior (Psychiatric Electrophysiology Section)[18]
Archives of Women's Mental Health (Women's Mental Health Section)[15][19]
History of Psychiatry (History of Psychiatry Section)
Idee in Psichiatria (Ecology, Psychiatry and Mental Health Section)
International Journal of Mental Health (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Section)
Journal of Affective Disorders (Affective Disorders Section)
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research (Psychiatry of Intellectual Disability Section)
Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics (Mental Health Economics Section)
Personality and Mental Health (Personality Disorders Section)
Psychiatry in General Practice (Rural Mental Health Section)
Psychopathology (Classification, Diagnostic Assessment and Nomenclature Section; Clinical Psychopathology Section)
Revista de Psicotrauma (Disaster Psychiatry Section)
Revue Francophone du Stress et du Trauma (Disaster Psychiatry Section)
Transcultural Psychiatry (Transcultural Psychiary Section)
Art & Psychiatry Section (Section of the Psychopathology of Expression)[17][20]
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry[21]
Early Career Psychiatrists[22]
Psyche and Spirit (Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry) [23]
Psychological Consequences of Torture and Persecutions Section[17]
Psychotherapy Section[17]
World Healer (Transcultural Psychiatry Section)[17][24]


The association has helped establish a code of professional ethics for psychiatrists.[2][25] The association has also looked into charges regarding China's treatment of the Falun Gong.[26]


  1. ^ a b c "History of the World Psychiatric Association". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "About the World Psychiatric Association". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "The Executive Committee". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b "World Psychiatric Association Chronology". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  5. ^ Vera Rich, Soviet psychiatry: pre-emptive resignation?, Nature (February 17, 1983).
  6. ^ Allan Wynn, The Soviet Union and the World Psychiatric Association, The Lancet (February 19, 1983).
  7. ^ Masha Hamilton, Soviets Win Praise From Amnesty International, Los Angeles Times (April 2, 1989).
  8. ^ Paul Anastasi, Soviets Conditionally Readmitted To World Psychiatric Association, New York Times (October 18, 1989).
  9. ^ Ruiz, Pedro (November 2011). "Greetings from Pedro Ruiz, new WPA President". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 2012-10-11.
  10. ^ "General Assembly 2014". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  11. ^ "17th WPA World Congress of Psychiatry "Psychiatry of the 21st Century: Context, Controversies and Commitment"". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  12. ^ a b c "World Psychiatric Association (WPA) By-laws" (PDF). World Psychiatric Association. 21 September 2011.
  13. ^ a b "World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Statutes" (PDF). World Psychiatric Association. 21 September 2011.
  14. ^ "Archive of "World Psychiatry"". PubMed Central. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 2009-06-18.
  15. ^ a b "Latest Publications". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  16. ^ "WPA News: Past Issues". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Journals & Volumes Produced by WPA Sections". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  18. ^ "ANS: The Journal for Neurocognitive Research". Activitas Nervosa Superior. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Archives of women's mental health". NLM Catalog. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  20. ^ "Art & Psychiatry". World Psychiatric Association. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Child & Adolescent Psychiatry". World Psychiatric Association. 2016.
  22. ^ "Early Career Psychiatrists". World Psychiatric Association. 2016.
  23. ^ "Newsletter". World Psychiatric Association: Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry. August 2016.
  24. ^ "World Healer". World Psychiatric Association - Transcultural Psychiatry Section. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  25. ^ "Madrid Declaration on Ethical Standards for Psychiatric Practice". World Psychiatric Association. 21 September 2011.
  26. ^ "Secretary General's summary of the proceedings and conclusions of the 2002 extraordinary and ordinary general assemblies". World Psychiatric Association. 26 August 2002.

External linksEdit