The Bylaws of the WACP

Under review by a Bylaws Subcommittee of the Board of Directors

The Nature of the Association

  • The World Association of Cultural Psychiatry (to be referred to as the Association) will be a non-profit, free standing, academic and educational organization, with international members, and governed by the Officers and the Board of Directors.

Purpose of the Association

  1. To promote the exchange of academic information and the progress of international scientific activity in the field of cultural psychiatry.
  2. To encourage the development of cultural psychiatric activities and organizations within national and regional psychiatric associations.
  3. To assist in the coordination of working relations between national and international organizations in the field of cultural psychiatry.
  4. To periodically organize international scientific meetings in the form of world congresses on the subject of cultural psychiatry.

Board of Directors

  1. The governance of the Association shall rest with the Board of Directors.
  2. The Board of Directors shall consist of 12-15 members who are psychiatrists and members of the Association. In principle, the members of the Board of Directors shall be drawn from different regions of the world and over-representation of any region, country, or ethnic/cultural group should be avoided
  3. The members of the Board of Directors shall be nominated by the Nomination Committee and elected by the members of the Association, and newly assembled at each successive World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry (to be referred to as the Congress).
  4. The term of the members of the Board of Directors shall be three years. If members are reelected, they can continue to serve on the Board of Directors for an additional term, namely two terms in total.

Officers

  1. The officers of the Association shall consist of the President, President-Elect, and Secretary, who shall also be members of the Board of Directors.
  2. The term for the President will be three years. After the termination of the Congress, the President-Elect will take over as the new President.
  3. The immediate Past-President will remain as an additional member of the Board of Directors for one term to contribute to the continuity of the function of the association.
  4. The President-Elect and the Secretary for the new term will be elected from the members of the Board of Directors by the newly assembled members of the Board of Directors at their business meeting that will take place just prior to the Congress.
  5. The President shall appoint a Treasurer to assist in the management and auditing of WACP finances, subject to approval by the Board of Directors.

Advisors

  1. Advisors shall be nominated by the officers, subject to approval by the Board of Directors.
  2. Advisors shall serve as consultants to the officers for any major policy changes and shall advise regarding over-all activities of the Association.

Nomination Committee

  1. The candidates for membership in the Board of Directors will be nominated by the Nomination Committee and subsequently voted by the members of the Association.
  2. The members of the Nomination Committee, normally five in number, will be appointed by the outgoing officers with consultation with the Advisors. The officers as well as ex-officers may serve as the members of the Committee if they are appointed.

Affiliations

  1. National (or regional) organizations of cultural psychiatry shall be invited to become affiliated with the Association, so that close working relationships can be established and maintained.
  2. Normally, representatives from national (or regional) organizations of cultural psychiatry may be candidates for the Board of Directors of the Association.

Members

  1. Any medical or health-related professional or behavioral scientist who is interested in the field of cultural psychiatry shall be eligible to become members of the Association.
  2. The officers shall be authorized to enroll the candidates who request membership.
  3. Members of the Association shall have the right to vote at the business meeting held during the Congress on major matters concerning the Association, such as general policy, bylaws, or the election of members to the Board of Directors. Such participation shall be restricted to fully paid members.

Membership Fees and Funds

  1. The members of the Association shall be required to pay an annual fee to the Association to finance its activities. The fee shall be determined by the Board of Directors. However, for political-economic reasons, the amount of fee may be adjusted and scaled according to the current level of economic development of the country in question as defined by the World Psychiatric Association or World Health Organization.
  2. The Association may seek donations from scientific institutions, industry, or individuals in order to raise funds for the Association.
  3. Treasurer’s report shall be presented to the Board of Directors annually for review and approval. A summary report shall be given at the business meeting of the Association held during each Congress.

World Congress

  1. In order to promote the scientific activities of cultural psychiatry worldwide, the Association is expected to hold a World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry every three years, with a rotation of locations around the world, making it easier for members from various part of the globe to participate.
  2. The World Congress shall also be an occasion for holding business meetings for the Board of Directors, as well as the members of the Association.
  3. Subject to approval from the Board of Directors, the World Congress can be jointly organized by the local sponsoring organization. A properly constituted Scientific Program Committee, made up of representatives from various regional and cultural groups, shall be appointed by the Officers with the approval of the Board of Directors.

Newsletter and/or Journal

  • In order to facilitate communication among the members of the Association, the Association may periodically publish newsletters and/or journals to circulate to the members of the Association. For further details, please see the attachments to the bylaws.

This Attachment was prepared to serve as additional explanations or clarifications of the Bylaws.

Board of Directors

  1. During the initial period of establishing the Association (WACP), for the sake of convenience, the initial members of the Board of Directors shall be appointed by the founding Officers. However, after the formal establishment of the Association during the first World Congress, the remaining processes shall follow the procedures described in the Bylaws.
  2. To follow the principle that “the members of the Board of Directors shall be drawn from various regions of the world and over-representation of any region, country, or ethnic/cultural group shall be avoided,” with the considerations of cultural psychiatrists existing in each region, it was arbitrarily decided (by the founding officers) to have certain members of the Board of Directors from a particular regions as follows: North America (3), Western Europe (3), Eastern and Northern Europe (1), Eastern Asia (3), South Asia (1), Mid-East (1), Africa (1), Australiasia (1), South America (1). The number of members representing  each region can be modified with approval from the Board of Directors.
  3. In order to maintain the required number of the members of the Board of Directors from each region, if any member of the board decides not to be nominated for re-election for the following term, he/she has the privilege to nominate to the nomination committee one or two candidate(s) from the country or region that he/she is representing.
  4. During their term, if any member of the Board of Directors wishes to withdraw from the position, or due to medical or other reasons not able to function actively, or passed away, the President can nominate the new members from the region needing representation with approval from the Board of Directors to function temporarily as the members of the Board of Directors. The appointment of the new member is only for the remainder of the term to serve.

Nomination Committee

  1. The nomination committee shall work on the process of nomination and election of the members of the Board of Directors in the six months prior to the targeted date of the next congress, when the newly elected members of the board will be assembled.
  2. The President who will be leaving the office will be the chair of the Nomination Committee, and the President-Elect (to become the new President at the next congress) along with the Secretary will be members of the committee. In addition, the chair of the nomination committee will appoint two to four additional members to the committee to form a nomination committee of five to seven members in total.
  3. In addition to the candidates nominated by the members of the Nomination Committee, and candidates nominated by the members of the Board of Directors who choose not to be re-elected, the ballot shall include candidates nominated by any member for an individual candidate with support for a minimum of ten members of the Association.
  4. It is desirable to have about 20-25 candidates in total for 15 members to be voted in. Among the total number of candidates to be nominated, normally about 15 will be nominated by the nomination committee, 5 by the members of the board of directors who choose not be re-elected, and another 5 (as maximal) by any individual members of the association themselves.
  5. The vote will be carried out by mail with the signature of the voting members. The members of the association will be asked to vote by mail for candidates. Only the candidates with the highest number of the defined number of candidates from the defined regions that they are representing will be considered elected. In other words, the maximum of 3 members to be voted from North America, Western Europe, and Asia; and 1 member from the rest of the regions, namely: Eastern and Central Europe, Mid-East, Africa, Australiasia, and South America. In this way, the distribution of the number of the members of the board directors will be maintained as defined without any overpresentation from any region.
  6. Only the members of the association who have paid dues during the term will be eligible to vote for the candidates of the members of the Board of Directors. Exception is for members from D country whose member fees are waived.

Working Relationships with Other Organizations

In order to promote the development of cultural psychiatry, the association will work closely with the national, regional or international organizations of cultural psychiatry or other professional organizations with focus on cultural psychiatry or culture and mental health. The Association recognizes four levels of association with the meetings of other 3 organizations, as well as the possibility of an institutional relationship with a larger organization.

Levels of association with professional meetings and the possibility of a broader institutional relationship may be characterized as follows:

  1. Endorsement – It indicates that a professional meeting of another organization may note that this meeting is endorsed by the WACP, implying nominal support only. It implies no collaboration in the planning and organization of the meeting, and no financial interactions or legal responsibilities. A plan for endorsement requires the approval of the president, with consultation to the association’s officers.
  2. Joint-ship – It indicates that in addition to endorsement, the WACP is involved in the planning and preparation of the professional programme or activities of the designated meeting with other primary organization(s) jointly, but it involves no financial interactions or legal responsibilities. A plan for joint-ship requires the approval of the board of directors.
  3. Collaboration-ship – It indicates active involvement of the WACP in the planning and preparation of the professional programme or activities in the manner of collaboration for the designated meeting with other organization(s). Furthermore, it acknowledges that the WACP also has a negotiated financial arrangement with the designated professional meeting, for which the other organization has primary responsibility. A plan for collaboration-ship requires the approval of the board of directors.
  4. Primary sponsorship – It refers to the leadership position and primary responsibility in organizing a meeting of the WACP itself, such as a World Congress of Cultural Psychiatry (WCCP). The particular responsibilities of the WACP and other organizations, such as the local sponsoring organization must be negotiated, including the division of responsibilities for the preparation and planning, organization of arrangements, and financial matters. An agreement must be approved by the board of directors.
  5. Affiliation – It refers to a relationship the WACP may enter with a larger organization. Terms of that relationship—including financial, legal, reporting, and other responsibilities—must be negotiated, and they require the agreement of the board of directors.