World Social Psychiatry

: 2020  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

World Social Psychiatry – A Star is Born, but Let it Shine and Grow!

Debasish Basu1, Nitin Gupta2,  
1 Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Debasish Basu
Department of Psychiatry, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012

How to cite this article:
Basu D, Gupta N. World Social Psychiatry – A Star is Born, but Let it Shine and Grow!.World Soc Psychiatry 2020;2:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Basu D, Gupta N. World Social Psychiatry – A Star is Born, but Let it Shine and Grow!. World Soc Psychiatry [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Apr 22 ];2:1-2
Available from:

Full Text

“Standing at the crossroads, trying to read the signs

To tell me which way I should go to find the answer,

And all the time I know,

Plant your love and let it grow

Let it grow, let it grow,

Let it blossom, let it flow

In the sun, the rain, the snow,

Love is lovely, let it grow”

Eric Clapton, 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974)

The inaugural issue of World Social Psychiatry – the official Journal of the World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP) – was formally released on October 25, 2019, at the 23rd World Congress of Social Psychiatry, in Bucharest, Romania [Figure 1]. This event marked a watershed in the long history of WASP.{Figure 1}

The initiation, aspiration, and vision behind the Journal have been documented in both the Special Editorial and the Inaugural Editorial of the first published issue.[1],[2] The vision of the Journal is to make social psychiatry a powerful and visible force worldwide, by a three-pronged approach: dissemination of knowledge; encouraging research; and promoting advocacy in the broad realm of social psychiatry encompassing all its aspects on an international platform. The aim is to promote, advocate, and establish the cause of social psychiatry in the world. The intended readership of the Journal consists of psychiatrists, other physicians, psychologists, social workers, community workers, research workers, epidemiologists, sociologists, social neuroscientists, anthropologists, students and scholars in these areas, administrators, and policymakers, among others.

 Which Subject Areas Are Covered?

The subject areas covered in the Journal include all areas related to the broad domain of social psychiatry. Some random examples (not all-inclusive though) are: social, interpersonal, cultural, and community dimensions related to psychiatry such as theoretical aspects, etiology, clinical aspects, nosology, management, prevention, rehabilitation, stigma, burden, coping, social support, personality and psychology, suicide, aggression and violence including terrorism, extremism and other conflicts, well-being, quality of life, psychosomatics, interaction of social psychiatry with biology and psychopharmacology, family psychiatry, community psychiatry and transcultural psychiatry. Both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies are welcome.

 Why Publish in World Social Psychiatry?

A worldwide and easily accessible forum for publishing research, viewpoints, and commentaries on a wide spectrum of topics related to social psychiatry as mentioned aboveA tremendous amount of research is generated in these areas, and there are only few existing journals to provide a platform for these publicationsFurther, this being an official flagship journal of the WASP, publications in this journal will attract more credibility and visibility (hence citability)There is a wide range of readership for the Journal, encouraging interaction and cross-pollination among different but related disciplinesFinally, along with the developed countries, this Journal will provide a platform for authors from Low-and Middle-Income Countries to disseminate their research and viewsLast but not the least: There are absolutely no publication charges, article processing charges, or download charges in any parts of the world for regular issues! The Journal believes in generation and dissemination of knowledge, ideas, and impetus in social psychiatry completely free! (Special Journal issues such as Supplement Issues or Special Themed Sections in a regular issue may be paid by sponsors within ethical framework, after prior mutual agreement).

 Social Psychiatry in a Disturbed World

Today's world is disturbed in many ways. We live in an increasingly difficult time, marked by growing intolerance, anger, frustration, addictions, aggression, hateful extremism, violence, terrorism, climate change and other environmental threats, migration, globalization, different ways of us-and-them, stigmatization, social and economic inequities, marginalization, isolation, alienation, exclusion.....the list is long and winding. And all these feed into our psyche, tormenting, disturbing, and violating the equilibrium, with mental health consequences.

However, not all is lost! We also live in an increasingly interconnected world, where the boundaries of space and time have shrunk astronomically by digital technology, and where there are strong sane voices of protest and call to save the world from economic, cultural, and environmental suicide, along with a vision of the sustainable development goals.[3]

Social psychiatry stands in this crucial intersection of destruction and construction, despair and hope, isolation and togetherness, mental illness and resilience. There is no psychiatry without social psychiatry!

 A Star Is Born – but Where to Go from Here?

With the historic launch of the flagship Journal 55 years after the inception of WASP, it may not be an overstatement or a narcissistic grandiose claim to say that “A star is born,” borrowing the title of the famous and several times remade American romantic musical movie. History has a habit of reinventing itself in its new avatars, and social psychiatry is no exception. However, just like a remake of a movie, the new recast importantly draws upon the current sociocultural realities, challenges, and ethos. In a similar vein, although World Social Psychiatry is not the first Journal (and certainly not the last) in the domain of social psychiatry, it must make itself and keep itself relevant for our globally changing times. It should provide a broad and flexible platform to publish new research, analyze, and disseminate new ideas and relentlessly advocate the cause of social psychiatry in an ever and rapidly changing world. As the aphorism goes, “Change in the only constant,” and nowhere is it as true and prophetic as in the area of social psychiatry. Social psychiatry has its weaknesses but also its strengths; it has been under serious threat but it also has tremendous opportunities. It is important to carry out such a strength-weakness-opportunity-threat analysis urgently.

We exhort our readers and potential authors to take up this challenge. The star is born but now is the time to let it shine and grow! These are difficult times, confusing, and scary, and it is not always easy to find the answer standing at the crossroads of history, geography, culture, technology, reality, and virtual or augmented reality. Hence, it is important to keep looking and keep the flock together. With myriads of ideas from several cross-cutting disciplines, some assuring and some conflicting, it is important to keep the dialog open. Eventually, as the Eric Clapton song says, it is about “planting love” – love for one another, love for the society, love for the social reality of who we are, and love for the belief in the social essence of mental health and its vicissitudes.

Let us all work hard together for the growth of social psychiatry and for World Social Psychiatry: yes, in the sun, in the rain, and in the snow. Let it grow!


1Kallivayalil RA. World Social Psychiatry: A dream coming true, but miles to go! World Soc Psychiatr 2019;1:1-3.
2Basu D, Gupta N. Mens sana in societate sana… Toward a wholesome world of social psychiatry. World Soc Psychiatr 2019;1:4-7.
3United Nations. Shaping Our Future Together. Available from: [Last accessed on 2020 Feb 08].