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Working Group on Geopsychiatry

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Geopsychiatry is an exciting developing field and subspeciality in psychiatry. The subject focuses on the interface between geopolitical events and psychiatry. It is well recognised that social determinants affect causation of mental illnesses and outcomes. Geopolitical determinants tend to influence social determinants in an increased globalised and inter-connected world.


The world is currently experiencing a number of geopolitical crises, many of which are transnational and are changing the cultural architecture of communities and their mental health footprints.  From population growth to climate change, human-made and natural disasters and ongoing conflicts leading to mass migration and an increase in refugees and asylum seekers to the impact of droughts and floods, geopolitical factors are becoming increasingly important. In addition, conflict, populism, the erosion of human rights, inequalities, terror, and fragile security add to the global mental health burden and present the most fundamental global challenges. However, often their impact on mental health is not taken into account. For example, even when infectious diseases such as Covid-19, Sars, and Zika proliferate, the focus is typically on infection control and management rather than their impact on mental health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Geopsychiatry1 is an exciting developing arena that welcomes scholars and

Interested individuals from different sectors, including health, environmental, human, social, economic, and political. It can help clarify the mental health causal chain and propose therapeutic and preventive macro- and individual-level interventions. It is also potentially useful to help policymakers and international aid agencies

Terms of Remit:

  1. To identify topics related to geopsychiatry that are of substantial interest for psychiatry and create recommendations for WPA's involvement in problem-solving research, policy, practice, teaching, and service development of that type relevant to mental health/mental illness across the globe.

  2. To support member societies, institutions and individuals interested and willing to participate in WPA’s programs of research, service development and education related to geopsychiatry

  3. To communicate with the other international organisations with a view to ensure that geopsychiatry issues are considered in the work of these groups and vice versa.


Working Group Leadership Team

Co-Chair - Professor Albert Persaud


Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience: Kings College. London SE5 8AF UK


Read Professor Albert Persaud's biography here.

Joao Mauricio.jpg

Co-Chair - João Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia

Assistant (Aux.) Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience, Medical School, Fundação do ABC, Santo André, SP, Brazil


Read Professor João Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia's biography here.

Working Group Members

Please click here to see the Working Group Members list​

Working Group Activities and News

The below highlights some of the recent and upcoming activities run by the Working Group on Geopsychiatry:

Upcoming webinar(s):

Geopolitical Determinants of Mental Health

In this webinar learn more about Geopsychiatry, an exciting new development focusing on the interface between geopolitical events and their impact on the practice of psychiatry across all ages and subspecialities. This webinar is being run by the Royal Society of Public Health and is supported by this Working Group. 

Date and time: 7th December 2022; 1300 hours GMT

More information and registration: Please click here for more information about the webinar, speakers and registration

Working Group Resources & Publications

  1. Persaud A, Bhugra D. Geopsychiatry, global vulnerability, mitigation and psychiatry. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2022 Jul 6:207640221110068. doi: 10.1177/00207640221110068. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35791640.

  2. João Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia & Dinesh Bhugra (2022): Analysis of global prevalence of mental and substance use disorders within countries: focus on sociodemographic characteristics and income levels, International Review of Psychiatry, DOI:10.1080/09540261.2022.2040450

  3. Persaud A, Day G, Bhugra, D., et al. Geopolitical factors and mental health I. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 2018;64(8):778-785. doi:10.1177/0020764018808548

  4. Persaud A, Day G, Ventriglio A, et al. Geopolitical factors, foreign aid and mental health II: Value for money. International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 2018;64(8):786-798. doi:10.1177/0020764018808552

  5. Breanne Aylward, Ashlee Cunsolo, Rachael Vriezen & Sherilee L. Harper (2022): Climate change is impacting mental health in North America: A systematic scoping review of the hazards, exposures, vulnerabilities, risks and responses, International Review of Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1080/09540261.2022.2029368 

  6. Persaud A, Bhugra D, Valsraj K, Bhavsar V. Understanding geopolitical determinants of health. Bull World Health Organ. 2021;99(2):166-168. doi:10.2471/BLT.20.254904

  7. Guilherme Trevizan Kortas, Ana Beatriz Balieiro Abrahão, André Malbergier, Thiago Marques Fidalgo, Helena Moura, Arthur Guerra de Andrade, Francisco Lotufo Neto, Julio Torales, Antonio Ventriglio & João Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia (2022): Immigrants, refugees and cannabis use, International Review of Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1080/09540261.2022.2039595

  8. Albert Persaud & Dinesh Bhugra (2022) Geopsychiatry-“putting mental health into foreign policy”, International Review of Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1080/09540261.2022.2032615

  9. Maria Olivia Pozzolo Pedro, Mateus Nobuo Sakata Angelo, Matheus Cheibub David Marin, Arthur Guerra de Andrade, Julio Torales, Antonio Ventriglio & João Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia (2022): The role of global vulnerability for mental and substance use disorders, International Review of Psychiatry, DOI: 10.1080/09540261.2022.2050189

  10. Albert Persaud, Geraint Day, Dinesh Bhugra, João Mauricio Castaldelli-Maia, Julio Torales, K. Valsraj, Vishal Bhavsar, Cameron Watson, Elliot Clissold & Antonio Ventriglio (2021) CAPE Vulnerability Index, International Review of Psychiatry, 33:1-2, 43-55, DOI: 10.1080/09540261.2020.1738093

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