The Indian Association for Social Psychiatry

About IASP

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The Indian Association for Social Psychiatry (IASP) is an independent professional membership organization covering the whole of India. The Indian Association for Social Psychiatry (IASP) was registered as an Association on 6 June 1984 (Regn. No. 1178/84) under the Societies Act. Secretariat of the Association is presently located at the Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. It has a membership of about 1000. Members include mental health professionals from different fields including psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychiatric social workers and psychiatric nurses.

Formed in 1984 under the chairmanship of Professor A. Venkoba Rao, the association aims to examine the interface between culture and humanity and devotes itself to the scientific study of the social issues relevant to the country and the society. The overarching goal of IASP is to examine the social and transcultural factors in the phenomenology, course, outcome and treatment of psychiatric disorders. The association strives to enhance the advance and application of mental health knowledge for the greater public good. IASP aspires to set high standards for research and education, and is determined to support psychiatrists and mental health professionals throughout their career. The IASP, since inception has a close association with the World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP) and the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) and is currently a member society of both the WPA and the WASP.

The IASP publishes the Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed online journal with quarterly print compilation of issues. The journal focusses on issues related to health, ethical and social factors in field of social and community psychiatry and is highly acclaimed by the mental health academia. The journal is open-access and is indexed by Baidu Scholar, CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure), EBSCO Publishing’s Electronic Databases, Exlibris – Primo Central, Google Scholar, Hinari, Infotrieve, National Science Library, ProQuest, TdNet, and Kudos.

The association supports continued medical education through its yearly national conference – The National Conference of Indian Association for Social Psychiatry (NCIASP), along with multiple other CME and international conferences. IASP promotes excellence in research in young scholars and honors lifetime achievement of senior professionals by providing yearly national awards in the field of psychiatry and mental health, during the annual national conference. The website of the association, was launched in 2008.


The purposes and objectives of the Association are:

  • To study the nature of man and his cultures and the prevention and treatment of his vicissitudes and behaviour disorders.
  • To promote national and international collaboration among professionals and societies in fields related to social psychiatry
  • To make the knowledge and practice of social psychiatry available to professionals in social psychiatry and other sciences and to the public by such methods as scientific meetings and publications.
  • To advance the physical, social, psychological and philosophic well-being of mankind by such methods as promotion of research and deliberations into it.
  • To extend consultations and carry out charitable and voluntary work for the furtherance of the objectives mentioned above.
  • To do all such things and matters that are incidental or conducive to the attainment of the above objectives.


The Indian Association for Social Psychiatry (IASP) completed its 33 years of existence in 2017. The Association was registered on 6 June 1984 (Regn. No. 1178/84) under Societies Act of India.

The Association came into being following certain fortuitous circumstance, a transcultural Psychiatric Meet, which was held in Madurai in August 1981 under the Chairmanship of Professor A. Venkoba Rao. At that meeting it was generally felt by many professionals that there was a great need in the country to have a separate professional organization for social and/or transcultural psychiatry. Such an organization could also examine the interface between culture and personality and be conducive to the scientific study of the social issues relevant to the country and the society, in addition to examining the social and transcultural factors in the phenomenology, course, outcome and treatment of psychiatric disorders. The organization would primarily attempt academic and intellectual exercises and bring a multidisciplinary approach to bear on these issues.

In January 1982, an ad-hoc committee was formed to usher in the new organization. After a preparatory phase of approximately two years, at a historic meeting held in Ranchi on 14 January 1984, the Indian Association for Social Psychiatry was formed, its constitution and by-laws adopted and the office-bearers selected. Dr. A. Venkoba Rao was the first President of the Association and served in that capacity between 1984 and 1986. The first issue of the Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry was published in 1986 under the editorship of Dr. B.B.Sethi.

The Association has been holding regular conferences, which have been held in various cities representing different parts of the country. Each conference was held with a socially relevant theme and included symposia, free papers and a number of guest lectures and popular lectures. The first annual conference was held in Kodaikanal in February 1985 under the chairmanship of Dr Venkoba Rao.

The Indian Association for Social Psychiatry became formally affiliated to the World Association for Social Psychiatry (WASP) in October 1985 and held the Regional Symposium of WASP (New Delhi, Feb., 1989) and hosted the XIII WASP Congress (New Delhi, Nov., 1992). The IASP hosted the Regional Symposium of Transcultural Psychiatry Section of WPA in March 1995; became formally affiliated to the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) in June, 1993. The Indian Association is acclaimed as one of the more active and emergent regional societies of the World Psychiatric Association. Through its own activities and through the activities of its members, the Indian Association for Social Psychiatry has been receiving greater recognition and visibility at the global level and at the level of the WPA and WASP. Professor S.D. Sharma, a past President of IASP has also served as the President of the World Association for Social Psychiatry. Prof Roy Abraham Kallivayalil, the past president of IASP is Secretary General of WPA and President of WASP. Recently, under the chairmanship of Prof R K Chadda, past President of IASP, XX WASP Congress was held in New Delhi in Dec 2016 in which more than 1100 delegates from 50 countries participated.

Updated: May 25th, 2017

Prof Indira Sharma

President , IASP

President’s Message

It is indeed an honour to take over the Presidency of the IASP on 18 November 2018 at the 25 National Conference of IASP, at Rohtak. Our Association has a great task to study the role of various social and cultural events occurring in a fast changing society in causation, maintenance and management of mental disorders.  There are currently many pressing mental health issues such as the plight of women with mental illness, school mental health, suicide, domestic violence, workplace harassment, and life style disorders (including alcohol and tobacco use disorders). The Association is working on positions statements on some of these issues. In this endeavour, it is hoped and prayed that the past presidents of the Association would be torch bearers and facilitate our journey to achieve the Association’s cherished goals.

Prof Mamta Sood

Secretary General, IASP

Secretary  General’s Message

It is my proud privilege to write to you as the Secretary General of the Indian Association for Social Psychiatry. At the outset I would like to thank all the membership for entrusting me the responsibility of the office of Secretary General. I thank my predecessors for providing the great leadership and I intend to carry forward the good work done by them. For the next quadrennium, the aim of our activities will be to bring focus on locally relevant solutions for mental health problems by utilizing existing psycho-socio- cultural resources. I urge all the professionals working in mental health field to join Indian Assocaiation for Social Psyhciatry. I request the entire membership to participate in the activities of IASP and bring their professional colleagues and friends to the IASP fold.

Looking forward to your support, co-operation and guidance!

Prof Nitin Gupta

Editor, IndJSP

From the Editor’s Desk

Greetings! It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome you on behalf of the Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry (IndJSP), the official research publication of the IASP. Our peer-reviewed journal is in publication since 1986 and is published four times a year. The editorial team of the IndJSP indeed strives hard to collate and promote high-quality work in the broad fields of social & community psychiatry from scholars working all over the world. We aim to provide researchers an open platform to communicate social & cultural issues, while upholding excellence in research. The full-text PDF of published articles are available for free viewing and download from the Journal website & article submissions are also made online. I encourage you all to take a look at the journal and participate in the academic discourse.