Welcome to the
American Association for Social Psychiatry
The mission of the American
Association for Social Psychiatry is to study, teach, and promote consciousness
of how social factors contribute to the maintenance of psychological
well-being, and to promote the understanding that social factors are core to all
behavioral health issues
The President's Column
Welcome to the new website of the American Association for Social Psychiatry!
It is only appropriate that American Social Psychiatry should be fully engaged in social media--in the future, look for a Facebook page or Twitter account, too. It is our intent to inject increased dynamism into American Social Psychiatry- and into AASP.
As I write this, the need for a robust social psychiatry is manifest just in the news of the week. Several articles noted that the gap in life span between poor and wealthy Americans has been increasing, with much of the increase attributable to increased mortality among less well-off and poor people due to the sequelae of psychiatric challenges, including substance use disorders. Yesterday six people were killed in a random shooting by one person in Kalamazoo. Meanwhile, the politics of the upcoming election—and affects behind them—are astonishing even well-seasoned observers. And while it may not always get to the front page, there continues to be news about our seeming inability to better meet the therapeutic, social and material needs of people with psychiatric challenges. The social surrounds us and is a critical core element of psychiatry.
It is hard to imagine a psychiatry that does not embrace the social—though it seems that there are some who believe we should try. What a poor pathetic creature an asocial psychiatry would be. There would be no sense of how relationships between people create or heal psychological or physical trauma. There would be no attempt to understand how or why psychiatric challenges evolve through time, from generation to generation—and how our interventions evolve too. There would be no way to discuss how political ideologies and party platforms foster either mental health or illness. Culture and the media, religion and employment, sexuality, gender, race and class--all would vanish from our concerns and our conversations. Our knowledge base would shrivel and psychiatry would cease to be the extraordinary human undertaking that it is. It cannot happen and it must not happen.
Fortunately, it is the power of the social realm that can save it. What we need to do to make all of psychiatry viable is to rediscover and trumpet its social core. What we need to make American psychiatry viable is to help it partner with other entities in society to find and implement better solutions to America’s pressing problems of health, mental health and wellbeing. We need to connect and to spur each other on, to inspire each other and to creatively tap into and organize our personal and collective talents.
That’s what this website is for. That’s what the AASP is for.
If you have something to say about society, psychiatry and social psychiatry, come say it. Send us a comment. Tell us about an essential paper or book or blog or email chain you have read. Come to our functions at the APA annual meeting and at the IPS. Do not be shy. If you keep your light under a bushel, you are the only one who will appreciate it. We need so much light!!!!
Ken Thompson MD
President, American Association for Social Psychiatry
Medical Director, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Association
Dr. Stotland to receive 2016 Humanitarian Award
Nada L. Stotland, MD has been chosen as the fifth recipient of the Abraham L. Halpern Humanitarian Award of the American Association for Social Psychiatry. She will receive the award at the AASP Humanitarian Award Forum on Sunday, May 15, 2016 in Atlanta.
Dr. Stotland will deliver the keynote address, “Abortion: What’s Happening and Why It Matters to Women, Society, and Psychiatry.” Her stance on advocacy as an humanitarian—that it requires one to go beyond what is expected and easy—is evident in her very choice of topic. In her work across the country, Dr. Stotland sees people so conflicted about the topic of abortion that even the term is something about which they can’t talk. She cites the statistics; the average person who has an abortion tells fewer than two people about it. As Dr. Stotland states, this means “at least thirty percent of women in the United States have had an abortion, and they can’t tell anyone about it.” This is an area in which psychiatrists need to be conversant, both among ourselves and with those whom we are treating.
She is currently Professor at Rush Medical College in Chicago, and is a prolific author, especially in the field of women’s health. Many of her peer-reviewed publications are in this area, and two of her books are on the subject of abortion. She has also given invited lectures both nationally and internationally, and given innumerable radio, television, and press interviews. Her expert consultations include testimony before Congressional subcommittees on the effects of abortion on women, and the psychological sequelae of pregnancy.
This AASP Award is preceded by three other national awards bestowed on Dr. Stotland in recognition of her outstanding contributions in the areas of community health and mental health, consumer advocacy, public education in psychiatry, and promoting women’s health.
Having held many offices, she is well known as Past President of the American Psychiatric Association and a Past Speaker of the Assembly, and she current serves as President of Senior Psychiatrists of America.
Forum discussants of the keynote address will be two recognized women leaders: Helen Hermann, MD, President-Elect of the World Psychiatric Association, and Maria Oquendo, MD, President-Elect of the American Psychiatric Association.
Dr. Hermann is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Research at Orygen: The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and the Centre for Youth Mental Health at The University of Melbourne, Australia. She is also Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for mental health in Melbourne. President of the Pacific Rim College of Psychiatrists, and Vice-President of the International Association of Women’s Mental Health.
Dr. Oquendo is Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, and Vice Chair for Education and Director of Residency Training at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She is also President of the International Academy for Suicide Research, and Vice President of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
The Humanitarian Award Forum will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center, Building B, Level 2, Room B206, on Sunday, May 15, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Are you an AASP member presenting at APA-Atlanta in May 2016?
Let us know and we will list your presentation at right