The South African Society of Psychiatrists which has about 400 members is the only professional body that represents psychiatrists in South Africa. The Society is actively involved in various issues that involve mental health in South Africa and the society prioritises its international relations. Recently, our president, Dr Westmore and our International Relations office bearer, Prof Rataemane attended the APA congress. They attended this congress with a mandate to improve our relations with colleagues internationally.
Our Society, through the Biological Special Interest Group, will be hosting our local Biological psychiatry Congress in Cape Town from 22 to 25 September 2011. This congress is usually well attended with excellent speakers from South Africa as well as internationally. The South African Society of Psychiatrists is currently bidding to host the 2014 WPA congress.
On a local level, the society is in the process of compiling treatment guidelines that would address the South African context and challenges in treating mental disorders. It is also involved in inputs to government in addressing problems with the implementation of the Mental Health Care Act. There is active liaison with the pharmaceutical industry in partnering as far as Continued Professional Development is concerned along ethical lines.
Honoray Secretary, South African Society of Psychiatrists