The WPA is an association of national psychiatric societies aimed at increasing the knowledge and skills necessary for work in the field of mental health and the care of the mentally ill. Its Member Societies are presently 137 (including two ad hoc associations), spanning 118 different countries and representing more than 200,000 psychiatrists.
The WPA organizes the World Congress of Psychiatry every three years. It also organizes international and regional congresses and meetings, and therapeutic conferences. It has 68 scientific sections (including two ad hoc sections) aimed at disseminating information and promoting collaborative work in specific domains of psychiatry. It has produced several educational programs and series of books. World Psychiatry, the official journal of the WPA and the most widespread psychiatric journal worldwide, now ranks no.5 out of 126 psychiatric journals with an impact factor of 8.974. WPA has developed ethical standards and guidelines for specific situations for psychiatric practice. Its website (www.wpanet.org), where all the activities and products are posted, is widely visited across the world from more than 200 countries with a page rank of 7/10 which reflects a high impact. The aims of the 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.