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The World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP) was 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 behavioral 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.

W.A.S.P. Task Force 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, 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 in the field.

This webpage (which is still in development) has a number of links to relevant organisations around the world and has detailed lists of up to date publications in the field. We aim 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.

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 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.

News and Events

Currently the group members are working to draw together knowledge regarding coercion in psychiatry from different areas of the world in order to summarise it and develop themes for research and practice. Once this has been achieved the information will be made available via this site.

The following international meetings are likely to have some content related to coercion and may be of interest:

21st World Congress for Social Psychiatry

Current members of WASP's Task Force on Coercion In Psychiatry

Jonathan Burns - Research Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Deputy Head of Department of Psychiatry at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Tom Burns - Professor, Social Psychiatry Group, University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry

John Dawson - Professor of Law at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand

Thomas Kallert - Professor of Psychiatry at the Dresden University of Technology, Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Psychotherapy, Park-Hospital Leipzig,  Medical Director of the Soteria Hospital Leipzig

Andrew Molodynski - Consultant Psychiatrist, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Ahmed Okasha - Professor and Director of WHO Collaborating Center for Training and Research in Mental  Health, Okasha Institute of Psychiatry – Ain Shams University, Cairo

Jorun Rugkåsa - Research Fellow, Social Psychiatry Group, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and Senior Research Fellow, Health Services Research Unit, Akershus University Hospital, Norway

Shridha Sharma- Emeritus Professor, National Academy of Medical Sciences and Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences, Delhi

Jeffrey Swanson - Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine

George Szmukler - Co-Director of the King’s Health and Society Centre, Associate Director of the NIHR Mental Health Research Network and a visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology (in BIOS) at the London School of Economics