WAPR is an international NGO, composed mainly by interdisciplinary mental health professionals (psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, occupational-therapists, social educators, etc.) from all regions in the World.
Mission and goals.
The mission of the WAPR is the dissemination of principles and practices of psychosocial rehabilitation. In the “WHO/WAPR consensus statement” jointly endorsed in 1996, psychosocial rehabilitation is defined as a process that facilitates the opportunity for individuals impaired, disabled or handicapped by a mental disorder to reach their optimal level of functioning in the community. It implies both improving individuals’ competencies and introducing environmental changes in order to improve their quality of life. Within this broad frame of reference, the WAPR’s activities cover a number of areas:
- promotion of national and international legislation, policies and programmes to meet the basic and special needs of people with a mental illness,
- international exchange of experiences and best practices in the field of rehabilitation of mental disorders,
- organization of training opportunities for health professionals, to introduce strategies for psychosocial rehabilitation in specialist and primary health care services,
- consultation to local, national and international agencies to promote improved care,
- rehabilitation and services for people with a mental illness,
- educational programmes to ensure maximum public, professional and government understanding of the needs and rights of people with disabling mental illnesses,
- enhancement of the development and organization of consumers’ and families’ associations, and mutual and self-help groups of individuals and carers affected by disabling mental illnesses,
- promotion of open dialogue among consumers, policy makers and professionals,
- collaboration with the UN, the WHO and the International Labour Office, by supporting the strategies for the treatment and rehabilitation of people with a mental disability within a community-based care,
- approach technical assistance to developing countries with regard to the funding and development of communitybased rehabilitation programs,
- research on innovative approaches to the integrated care of people with mental disorders,
- definition of standards, benchmarks and quality improvement tools in relation to community care.
As can be seen, the WAPR is at the same time a scientific society, a multi-disciplinary professional organisation and an advocacy group.
We will welcome everybody interested in fighting the disability related to mental disorders and raising the quality of life of people with mental illnesses.
Currently, the WAPR has a 48-member International Board of Directors, which includes six past Presidents and a Regional Vice-President with one or more deputies for each of the six regions of the world, following the regional structure of the WHO. Moreover, the Board includes representatives of consumers, families and voluntary organisations, as well as permanent representatives located in Geneva and New York, to link with WHO and UN agencies. More than 40 national secretaries represent the same number of national chapters across the world.
Membership of the WAPR is open not only to mental health professionals but also to researchers of various disciplines, administrators, policy makers, consumers and their relatives, and advocacy associations. This is because the primary aim of the WAPR is to provide to all stakeholders a forum for the ongoing discussion of the relevant issues concerning the long-term care of people with mental disorders.
The WAPR publishes a quarterly Bulletin. Marit Borg (Norway) is the main editor of WAPR bulletin, seconded by Tae-Yeon Wang (Rep. of Korea) and Ricardo Guinea (Spain). The latest copies of the Bulletins can be viewed at www.wapr.info. Local bulletins are published by several national branches, such as in Spain, South Africa and India. Meetings. The next WAPR world congress will be held in Madrid, Spain, in the spring of 2018.