March 2014
WPA Zone 1 (Canada)

WPA Zone I consists of the Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) which holds annual meetings, continuing professional education symposia across the country and internationally and participates actively in advocacy for mental health in policy, with government and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). As the national voice of Canadian psychiatrists, the Canadian Psychiatric Association advocates for the professional needs of its members and promotes excellence in education, research, and clinical practice.

CPA Objectives are: 1) To uphold and develop the biopsychosocial approach to the practice of psychiatry and promote research and continuing education of members by establishing and maintaining standards of practice and facilitating maintenance of competence in the practice of general and specialized psychiatry; 2) To promote and participate in educational programs necessary for the care of persons with psychiatric disorders and the promotion of mental health; 3) To represent the profession of psychiatry to governments, universities, medical associations, licensing and certifying bodies, and other organizations with which the psychiatrists of Canada from time to time may have relationships; 4) To publish journals, newsletters and other literature for the dissemination of knowledge regarding psychiatric disorders and promotion of mental health.

Advocacy is an important part of the CPA's mandate including advocating for improved mental health public policy, collaborating on public education efforts, as well as partnering and providing leadership on professional matters that affect psychiatric practice, training and research.

CPA also issues Policy and Position Statements which it updates on a regular basis. In December 2012, the CPA approved and published a Position Paper on “Intimate Partner Violence” authored by Drs Donna Stewart, Harriet MacMillan and Nadine Wathen which looked at the epidemiology, risk factors, health impacts (especially mental health), identification, assessment, documentation, management, treatment, prognosis, prevention, education, research and recommendations for best practice. This document will be helpful in facilitating the WPA work plan for the next triennium which includes domestic violence. In September 2014, the CPA approved and published a Position Paper on “Freedom of and From Religion” authored by Drs Gary Chaimowitz, Doug Urness, Biju Mathew, Julia Dornik and Alison Freeland. The statement concludes “The CPA acknowledges that Canadians have, as a fundamental freedom, freedom of thought, belief and opinion, sufficient that they should be able to communicate with and access psychiatric care free of religious ideas or belief systems foreign to them. Canadian psychiatrists should not allow their personal religious or cultural beliefs (or lack thereof) to interfere with, influence unduly or preclude, in any way, psychiatric care to their patients. For these reasons, we believe that psychiatric care, while sensitive to the spiritual, religious and cultural needs of the patient, needs to be provided in a secular fashion, attending to the best and most appropriate needs of the individual. It is important that psychiatrists, when they treat patients, do not allow their own religious beliefs or lack thereof to restrict or negatively affect the care they deliver to the patients that they serve and support.”

CPA welcomes WPA members to attend our future Annual Meetings of over 1200 participants to be held in Vancouver (Oct 1-3, 2015), Toronto (Sept 15-17, 2016), Ottawa (Sept 14-16, 2017) and Toronto (Sept 27-29, 2018).


Donna E. Stewart CM, MD, FRCPC
WPA Zonal Representative

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