The World Psychiatry Association

The WPA is an association of national psychiatric societies that aims to disseminate the knowledge and skills necessary to work efficiently in today’s mental health field, including care for the mentally ill.  There are 135 WPA member societies, encompassing 117 countries and representing over 200,000 psychiatrists.

The WPA organizes the World Congress of Psychiatry every three years. It also organizes international and regional congresses and meetings, as well as theme-based conferences. The Congress features 65 scientific sections, aimed at spreading the latest information and promoting collaborative work among professionals within specific specialties of psychiatry. The WPA has produced several educational programs and a series of books. Furthermore, the WPA has developed a set of ethical guidelines for psychiatric practice including the Madrid Declaration (1996).


What are its aims?

The core missions of WPA include the following:

  • To encourage the highest possible standards of clinical practice
  • To increase knowledge and skills about mental disorders and how they can be prevented and treated
  • To promote mental health
  • To promote the highest possible ethical standards in psychiatric work
  • To disseminate knowledge about evidence-based therapy and values based practice
  • To be a voice for the dignity and human rights of the patients and their families, and to uphold the rights of psychiatrists
  • To facilitate communication and assistance especially to societies who are isolated or whose members work in impoverished circumstances


To promote the advancement of psychiatry and mental health for all peoples of the world.


  • To increase knowledge and skills necessary for work in the field of mental health and in the care for the mentally ill.
  • To improve the care for the mentally ill.
  • To prevent mental disorders.
  • To promote mental health.
  • To preserve the rights of the mentally ill.
  • To promote the development and observance of the highest ethical standards in psychiatric care, teaching and research.
  • To promote the development of the highest quality standards in psychiatric care, teaching and research, as well as the observance of such standards.
  • To promote non-discrimination (parity) in the provision of care of the mentally ill.
  • To protect the rights of psychiatrists.