The World Psychiatric Association (WPA) is an association of national psychiatric societies aimed to increase knowledge and skills necessary for work in the field of mental health and the care for the mentally ill. Its member societies are presently 135, spanning 117 different countries and representing more than 200,000 psychiatrists.
The WPA organizes the World Congress of Psychiatry every three years. It also organizes international and regional congresses and meetings, and thematic conferences. It has 65 scientific sections, aimed to disseminate information and promote collaborative work in specific domains of psychiatry. It has produced several educational programmes and series of books. It has developed ethical guidelines for psychiatric practice, including the Madrid Declaration (1996).
What are its aims?
The core missions of WPA include the following:
- To encourage the highest possible standards of clinical practice
- To increase knowledge and skills about mental disorders and how they can be prevented and treated
- To promote mental health
- To promote the highest possible ethical standards in psychiatric work
- To disseminate knowledge about evidence-based therapy and values based practice
- To be a voice for the dignity and human rights of the patients and their families, and to uphold the rights of psychiatrists
- To facilitate communication and assistance especially to societies who are isolated or whose members work in impoverished circumstances
To promote the advancement of psychiatry and mental health for all peoples of the world.
- To increase knowledge and skills necessary for work in the field of mental health and in the care for the mentally ill.
- To improve the care for the mentally ill.
- To prevent mental disorders.
- To promote mental health.
- To preserve the rights of the mentally ill.
- To promote the development and observance of the highest ethical standards in psychiatric care, teaching and research.
- To promote the development of the highest quality standards in psychiatric care, teaching and research, as well as the observance of such standards.
- To promote non-discrimination (parity) in the provision of care of the mentally ill.
- To protect the rights of psychiatrists.