Welcome/ About

The World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP) is affiliated to the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) and the two bodies share many common goals. The WASP working party on coercion in mental health care recently released a set of guiding principles and standards in late 2015, developed from the research and collaboration of members alongside issues highlighted in the literature and raised by human rights groups. These principles are set out below and are designed to be applicable in all countries:

  • All individuals in a community should have access to the most effective affordable mental health care that is available.
  • All individuals have the right to receive that care in the least restrictive manner possible.
  • Individuals have the right to determine their own needs and requirements for treatment as far as is possible.
  • Where treatment is compelled, this must be done proportionately, humanely, and in accordance with the relevant international conventions.
  • Countries must give mental health care parity with physical healthcare and allocate budgets and support accordingly.
  • High Income Group countries must support those in need to develop and improve their mental health services as a global ‘civic duty’.

World Association for Social Psychiatry (WASP) International Working Group on Coercion in Psychiatry

The World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASPwas formed in 1964 by Joshua Bierer (United Kingdom) and others.

Its aims are as follows:

1. To study the nature of man and the prevention and treatment of his vicissitudes and behavioural disorders
2. To promote national and international collaboration among professionals and societies in fields related to social psychiatry
3. To make the knowledge and practice of social psychiatry available to other sciences and the public
4. To advance the physical, social, and philosophical wellbeing of mankind.

WASP Working Group on Coercion in Psychiatry

During the international congress in Marrakech in 2010 and meetings within it the issue of coercion in psychiatry worldwide was raised on a number of occasions. As coercion affects all services across the world and those who use them, it was decided to develop a task force of international experts and interested parties in the field.

Our group aims to build upon the collaborations that already exist internationally. We aim to draw together information and evidence regarding coercion to make it more available, and to expand the current evidence by fostering research and enquiry in the field. We aim to become a focus for those interested in research and practice in this field and a resource for all who need it.

This website has a number of links to relevant organisations around the world and has detailed lists of up to date publications in the field. We will continue to develop this over time and will post updates as they occur.

This site will grow to become a resource for those interested in issues of coercion regardless of their perspective. Updates regarding the work of the group and other significant developments elsewhere will be posted as information becomes available. We aim in time to develop educational materials that can be used to increase awareness of coercion and its causes and effects.

Andrew Molodynski is coordinating the group and this webpage. If you have any questions or comments regarding the content of the site or issues of coercion in general please do not hesitate to contact him on andrew.molodynski@oxfordhealth.nhs.uk. If you have any suggestions for information to be shared, events to highlight, or links to other sites we would be delighted to hear from you also.