May 2012
Minutes of section meeting of WPA Section on Public Policy and Psychiatry Florence, 2009, April 3

Present: Richard Warner/USA, Levent Kuey/Turkey, Harvey Whiteford/Australia, Julian Freidin/Australia, Annie Lau/UK, Heinz Katschnig/Austria, Peter McGeorge/New Zealand, Eliot Sorel/USA, Helen Herrman/Australia, Michaela Amering/Austria.

Excused: Rachel Jenkins/UK, Wolfgang Rutz/Sweden, Gabriela Cruz/Mexico, Jonathan Burns/SA, Janice Wilson/NZL, David Pollack.


  1. Old business
  2. Report from WPA section chairs’ meeting 2009
  3. Access to Mental Health Care Global Advocacy (Sorel)
  4. Global Mental Health and Primary Care Collaboration (Sorel)
  5. How can public mental health survive in the economic
    crisis? (Katschnig)
  6. Fusion of capacity and mental health law (Szmukler et al)
  7. South-South Initiative, Global Forum, LMIC (Burns et al)
  8. Marrakesh World Congress of Social Psychiatry - The XX World Congress for Social Psychiatry ‘Integrating Health Services for the Mentally Ill’ Marrakech, Morocco, 23-27 October, 2010
  9. Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study (Whiteford)
  10. CTP-workshop on Friday 3 16.30-18.00 (Malm)
  11. Other business
  1. No old business
  2. Report from the Florence section chairs’ meeting by Richard Warner:
  • Research grants for section research projects are US$50.000. Deadline is June 30th 2009.
  • An electronic Bulletin for sections will be implemented on WPA website soon and sections will be able to care for their own websites in the near future
  • An invitation to send materials for WPA newsletter is renewed
  • Possible section relationships with donors with full transparency are encouraged
  • Our section has submitted all materials in time and is quite an active section
  • Michaela Amering is a member of the standing committee on sections and will support Jorge Miguel’s efforts to further the work of the sections
  • Expansion plans include further educational materials and activities

     3. Access to Mental Health Care Global Advocacy (Sorel)

This topic will be presented within the framework of APA in May in San Francisco. Section members, who wish to attend the presentation – by invitation only – please get in touch with Eliot Sorel.

The three-part symposium at this conference is a precursor to further action and alliance between high and low income countries. Print and online publications are supposed will follow soon. Meanwhile this trisectional cooperation would certainly be worth a paragraph in the news of the sections.

    4. Global Mental Health and Primary Care Collaboration (Sorel)

A potential project would be a collaboration between The Royal College of Psychiatrists, the American Psychiatric Association and sub-Saharan Africa with a clear and simple focus on the integration with primary care with regard to HIV/AIDS. Sorel will send the materials to the section board and Richard Warner will send it on to Jorge Miguel to spread among other sections.

    5. How can public mental health survive the economic crisis? (Katschnig)

Heinz Katschnig suggests that with the current economic crisis mental health care (or some parts of it) might get more ‘de-privatized’ (like the banks), with new publicly endorsed quality assurance measures. There might thus not only exist a risk but also a chance for public 

mental health in the current economic crisis. Richard Warner refered to data showing that economic downturns regularly go along with an increase in spending for mental health, primarily because of increased hospital spending during economic downturns.

It was suggested that Heinz Katschnig should elaborate a research proposal (in collaboration with the WPA Section on Mental Health Ecomomics) for a study on the current patterns of private and public mental health systems in different WPA member countries and the actual trends of private and public approaches. The proposal could be submitted to the WPA for funding.

Eliot Sorel is interested in getting together a symposium on this topic at the WPA Regional Meeting in St. Petersburg, June 17-19, 2010.

6. Fusion of capacity and mental health law (Szmukler et al)

George Szmukler, Rowena Daw, and John Dawson have written an outline for ‘A model law fusing incapacity and mental health legislation’, which will be published soon and will be accessible to our section at time of publication. Peter McGeorge and NZ have a special interest in possible changes in the mental illness statute. Discussion suggested special consideration of the May 2008 UN Convention ENABLE and a current WHO HQ reports on rights for this topic.

7.South-South Initiative, Global Forum, LMIC (Burns et al)

There was considerable interest in the discussion of Jonathan Burns’ suggestion of a South-South alliance and Vikram Patel’s suggestion to include such a motion into the Movement for Global Mental Health. Group is unclear in which state the Movement is, whether it is a strong idea or a well-formed structure. There was interest concerning potential examples and existing models of South-South Alliances. We will ask Jonathan Burns and other members of the section to provide more information on this question. South-South seems to hold a strong intuitive appeal and we look forward to further fruitful discussions and developments.

8.Marrakesh World Congress of Social Psychiatry - The XX World Congress for Social Psychiatry ‘Integrating Health Services for the Mentally Ill’ Marrakech, Morocco, 23-27 October, 2010

This meeting will be a collaboration of WASP with WPA and WFMH. Eliot Sorel is the chairman of the scientific ommittee. He will distribute information and deadlines. Several symposia are currently being developed. One idea for a workshop (with a focus on psychiatric residents) is the stigmatization and discrimination in health services against mental health workers. This topic has attracted much interest at the Florence section symposium on stigma and social inclusion (Levent Kuey).

9.Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study (Whiteford)

Harvey Whiteford is receiving good responses to his request for feedback regarding the Global Burden of Disease Study, which is being conducted again with a grant from the Gates Foundation to WHO and several Universities. The study has established a consortium of 41 members looking at 41 diseases and will proceed through 2010.  Please check the website of the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Expert Group under

Discussions centred around the proposed change of the position of depression (currently ranked highest in global burden), the question of comorbidity and the proposed hierarchy with respect to the direction of supposed effects.

In order to spread the word Harvey will send 250-350 words to Levent Kuey to be included as NEWS from the sections in the Newsletter including one small visual. The same piece will be circulated by Julian Freidin, who is the new convener of the board and who will send it around to all WPA zones. The same text should be sent to the WPA section on Epidemiology and Public Health and WPA president, Mario Maj.    

10.An invitation was issued to attend the CTP-workshop on Friday 3 16.30-18.00 (Malm)

11.Other business

Richard Warner has been editing a supplement of the ‘Journal of Ethics in Mental Health’ on the Ethics of the Relationship between Psychiatry and the Pharmaceutical Industry, which should be available soon. The Florence section symposium on the same topic was well attended and well received.

  • The 2010 WPA International Congress will NOT take place in Barcelona. It may occur in Beijing. Please check WPA website.
  • The 2011 WPA Thematic Conference on ‘Rethinking Quality in Psychiatry - Education, Research, Prevention, Diagnosis & Treatment’ will take place in Istanbul, Turkey, June 9-12, 2011
  • The next World Congress of Psychiatry will be in Buenos Aires, October 11.15, 2011

Information on these and other international and regional WPA meetings can be found on

For the minutes:

Michaela Amering, April, 2009




Read All || Archive


WPA Meetings

Read All


WPA Newsletter

Read All


E - Learning

Signup || Login

WPA Secretariat

Powered By Logicsoft
© 2016 All right reserved World Psychiatric Association