News from the South African Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP)
Greetings from sunny South Africa!
The South African Society of Psychiatrist (SASOP) has, at its last annual general meeting at Fancourt, George converted from an Associated to a Not –for–Profit Company. This is not a public company but having a company structure fulfils certain legal obligations in accordance with South African law and eases the administration of the organization.
The management of the company is through the Executive Committee, consisting of the President (currently Dr Jan Chabalala), the President Elect (currently Dr Ian Westmore), the immediate Past President (Dr Thabo Rangaka), the Honorary Treasurer, Dr Willem van Rooy and the Honorary Secretary, Dr Gerhard Grobler. The Executive Committee forms part of the Board of Directors, consisting of different Task Teams (including the Psychiatric Disability task team, the Anti – stigma task team and the Generic medicine task team) as well as Divisions (such as the South African Journal of Psychiatry Division, the Headline Division, the Web site division and the National Congress division). The former three divisions are the communication channels of the Society for both internal and external communication.
The country is divided into different subgroups in the various geographic areas. This is to ensure maximum participation on grassroots level.
The aims of the Society are to promote, maintain and protect the honour and interests of the discipline of Psychiatry as a medical profession, and to serve the community. The South African Society of Psychiatrists is the only professional body in South Africa that represents the interests of the majority of Psychiatrists in South Africa. The Society is also actively involved in South Africa and internationally to destigmatize Mental Illness and is fighting against discrimination against people who suffer with mental illness. The Society is managed by a team of elected volunteers, all Psychiatrists. Elections take place biennially at the Biennial National Congress.