The purpose of WACP is to bring together psychiatrists, mental health workers, and social and behavioral scientists, whose main focus and interests are related to cultural psychiatry and mental health, for the purpose of working together to increase the availability and effectiveness of clinical services for diverse peoples and populations throughout the world.
By definition, the scope of WACP will be global, and its membership will be drawn from all regions of the world. WACP will be a nonprofit, free-standing academic organization. Membership fees will be structured on a sliding scale to encourage maximal participation by members from countries with limited fiscal resources.
Governance of WACP will be determined by the Officers and Board of Directors, comprised of 12 to 15 international members. The members of the Board of Directors will be drawn from various geographic regions, including: Asia, Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Australasia, and sub-Saharan Africa, so that they can provide input from various geographical and cultural perspectives. WACP officers will be elected for three-year terms by the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors will organize working committees drawn from the membership of WACP, whose aim will be to encourage the development of specific topical areas of cultural psychiatry; such as: culture and personality, culture and family, migration, acculturation and acculturative stress, psychological consequences of discrimination and persecution, spirituality and religion, cross-cultural assessment and diagnosis, cultural aspects of psychopharmacology, traditional or folk healing practices, cultural aspects of psychotherapy, and culturally sensitive care and treatment.
WACP’s aim is to encourage an exchange of ideas, generate scientific discourse, and contribute indirectly to policy formation in the broad areas of concern to the field of cultural psychiatry, which will be accomplished through international, regional, and national conferences. A world congress of cultural psychiatry will be convened every third year. These triennial congresses will be held, in turn, on different continents. Regional conferences, working jointly with national or regional organizations, will be held between the world congresses periodically at selected major geographic regions, with the intention of encouraging the participation of students and professionals in the early stages of their careers, as well as their mentoring by senior colleagues from host nations.
All colleagues with a professional background in psychiatry, health-related care (such as physicians, nurses, social workers), and social and behavioral science (such as cultural psychologists, medical anthropologists, sociologists) are welcome to join the WACP and to work together for the common goal of improving knowledge of and skills in cultural psychiatry, thus promoting culturally appropriate mental health care around the world.