News and Events

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’.


Dear colleagues and friends,

We are pleased to announce that the response to the 10 June launch of the WHO guidance on rights based community mental health services was overwhelmingly positive, with close to 7000 people viewing the event via Zoom or the WHO YouTube account to date. The launch received significant attention both in social and traditional media and we have also received many positive comments and feedback from individuals from all corners of the world.

Furthermore, since the launch, hundreds of people in countries from around the world are keeping the momentum going by extensively disseminating the WHO guidance to their networks and governments. We would encourage you all to do the same.

Please find below some of the key links to the WHO Guidance documents and to resources related to the launch event itself which we would encourage you to share with your networks and contacts:


Over recent months, the World Association of Social Psychiatry has launched a new journal and a new website.

The journal, World Social Psychiatry, is an ambitious adventure and accepts all types of articles with the aim of promoting and spreading the social psychiatry message. It can be found online at


The website can be found at and contains regular updates and newsletters about goings on. Most recently a position statement highlighting the effects of COVID 19 on mental health has been posted. The site is also a one stop shop for information about THE association. We hope that over time it will grow and include podcasts and an aver increasing variety of material

New Frontiers Online Journal section for Social and Rehabilitation launched!

Frontiers has recently launched a new journal section specifically to encourage submissions in social psychiatry and rehabilitation in conjunction with the European Society for Social Psychiatry (ESSPY):

Frontiers in Psychiatry - Psych Rehab Section - Aims and Scope_.docx

We are really excited by this development and hope it will become a place for vigorous debate and evidence regarding coercion in mental health care. Submissions on such topics would be really welcome and both Yasser and Andrew are closely involved and will make sure they are highlighted. The link below gets you there:

Bucharest 2019- save the date!

the next WASP conference is in October this year in Bucharest and there will be varied programme on all aspects of mental health care and much about involuntary treatment around the world. Do come along and take part!


Article highlighting human rights issues in Uganda published
British journal of Psychiatry International has published an article from group members in conjunction with major international human rights charity MDAC on mental health care in Uganda. It highlights some of the challenges and looks at opportunities for change and better care going forwards. The link below will take you straight to it:

Click to access PUBNS_IPv14n4_98.pdf

First international conference on crisis care and coercion 2018 Rotterdam

The first international conference on crisis care and coercion has taken place recently in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. There were many relevant talks and symposia for people interested in acute mental health care and human rights and people attended from a number of countries to share ideas and initiatives in what was a very well coordinated and vigorous small conference. It is hoped to repeat the conference in either one or two years. Presentations from the conference are available on its website.

Launch of a new European Society

The European Society of Social Psychiatry (ESSP) has recently been set up. The first congress of the ESSP, chaired by François Ferrero, was held in the early summer in Geneva. The conference contained many sessions regarding coercion ad was a great success, fostering interest, partnerships, and collaborations which we hope we can build on. For the first time, such a congress contained specific workshops on the practical aspects of what might be done to reduce coercion in clinical practice. Feedback was excellent and we hope to run more workshops at future events. We will keep updating the site with such news. The website is

Coercion In mental health care- International perspectives

coercion in comm MH

Members of the group have worked over recent years with key academics, clinicians, and service users from around the world to create a book that takes a global perspective on the issue of coercion. There are chapters regarding the law, ethics, practical considerations, the effects of economy and culture and many more things. There is also a chapter from each continent identifying important regional issues for the first time in the literature.