Minutes of section meeting of WPA Section on Public Policy and Psychiatry - Prague, 2008, September 22

Thank you for your reactions to our invitation where many of you stated that they would unfortunately not be able to be in Prague and had to excuse themselves for the section meeting: Thornicroft, Patel, Sorel, Kuey, Lecic-Tosevski, Herrman, Chiu, Yasami, Wancata.

Richard Warner/USA, Wolfgang Rutz/Sweden, Jonathan Burns/South Africa, Annie Lau/UK, Gabriela Cruz Ares/Mexico, and Michaela Amering/Austria participated in the 2008 section meeting.

1. Report from the section chairs’ meeting (also on September 22) by Richard Warner:

  • research grants exist for sections. Richard will find out how much money is available and how to apply for one, e.g. for the topic of disincentives for employment for people with mental illness in different systems around the world
  • Miguel Jorge will send a template to sections in order to set up by-laws, such as rules for admission to the section and maintaining membership, which would include providing a functioning e-mail address, etc.
  • Richard will review also members’ e-mail addresses which have been bouncing back repeatedly recently
  • 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
  • Our section would like to have its mission statement and current action plan on the web, a member list without e-mail addresses, e-mail contact opportunity with the officers, as well as other information of interest to our members. It would be great if we could find somebody among the membership, who would be able to take on the task of webmaster.
  • The planned publication of the next volumes of ‘Advances in Psychiatry’ includes a contribution from our section by Wolfgang Rutz on Public Policy and Mental Health Promotion. Wolfgang will be in contact with the Editors
  • WPA rules for holding a section office include a 6-year limit for one position and a 9-year limit for serving on a board. Honorary board membership positions might be possible for people whose efforts are needed beyond that time.

2. Current board positions and election proceedings

  • Currently the section board consist of
    • Richard Warner/USA (Chairperson)
    • Wolfgang Rutz/Sweden (Co-Chair)
    • Michaela Amering/Austria (Secretary)
    • Graham Thornicroft/UK
    • Vikram Patel/UK
    • Gabriela Cruz Ares/Mexico
    • Jonathan Burns/Soouth Africa

We do not have or expect a quorum for an election process at a meeting. So we will have to conduct an e-mail election.

3. Four position papers are in different stages of development, which will be worked on, advised by the board and specific interested parties and individuals, before being circulated among the membership. Please contact coordinators if you wish to be involved at an earlier stage.

  • on user and carer involvement within WPA  – coordination Michaela Amering & Richard Warner
  • on mental health legislation around the globe – coordination George Szmukler & M. Amering
  • on public mental health – coordination Wolfgang Rutz & Michaela Amering
  • on work and educational opportunities available to people with serious mental illness – coordination Annie Lau & Richard Warner

4. The next WPA International Congress will take place in Florence, April 1-4, 2009 (www.wpa2009florence.org). Accepted section activities include symposia on

  • ‘Ethical Issues in the Relationship of Psychiatry to the Pharmaceutical Industry’ (Warner & Amering)
  • ‘Service User Involvement in Mental Health Research’ (Amering & Wallcraft)
  • ‘Recovery beyond Rhetoric’ (Amering & Warner)
  • ‘Implementating Mental Health Care through Developing Caring Communities’ (Amering & Gureje)

in collaboration with the stigma section

  • ‘Stigma: Current Challenges for Care and Treatment’ (Kuey & Warner)
  • ‘Social Inclusion of People with Mental Disorders: towards Solutions’ (Kuey/Warner)
  • as sent out this September by Eliot Sorel – chairman of the WPA Section on Conflict Management & Resolution - his monumental effort on ‘Access to Mental Health Care: Global Perspectives’

We will inform you about time and place for a section meeting in Florence as soon as possible.

5. other topics of interest

We welcome as new members:

  • Violet C.A. Okech/Kenya
  • Gabriela Cruz Ares/Mexico
  • Jonathan Burns/South Africa
  • Henrik Wahlberg/Sweden

Richard Warner is editing a supplement of the ‘Journal of Ethics in Mental Health’ on the Ethics of the Relationship between Psychiatry and the Pharmaceutical Industry.

  • The 2010 WPA International Congress will take place in Barcelona, April 14-16, 2010
  • 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

for the minutes:
Michaela Amering, October 2008




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