During APA's annual meeting each spring, the Council on Global
Psychiatry (CGP) hosts a number of discussion groups, each focusing on a
different part of the world (see Learn More About Your International
"The discussion groups have several purposes," explained
Lawrence Hartmann, M.D., chair of the CGP and a former APA president."
The many visitors to the national meeting from the rest of the world
have a place to meet with one another and to talk about issues of mutual,
regional concern. The discussion groups also offer opportunities for American
psychiatrists to become more aware of and connected to the practice of
psychiatry in other places in the world."
Indeed, keeping American psychiatrists abreast of what their colleagues are
doing in other countries is an overarching goal of the CGP, and for good
"A lot of good ideas are tested in other countries," said
Hartmann, but "international research is often not read much by American
psychiatrists." They need to learn and appreciate that there is a great
variety around the world in the delivery of psychiatric care, Hartmann said."
A lot of things having to do with service training, availability [of
services], and financing [of care] vary enormously internationally."
The CPG is composed of 19 members, eight of whom are voting members. The
rest are nonvoting members of which one is a consultant, five are
corresponding members, and five are psychiatric fellows. The group forges
positive relations and information exchanges with psychiatrists the world over
and with such international organizations as the World Psychiatric Association
and the World Federation for Mental Health. The council advocates against the
misuse and abuse of psychiatric principles and interventions, and it studies
the human response to and recovery from manmade or natural disasters such as
9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Indonesia tsunami. ▪