WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Oct. 16, 1844, 13 superintendents of U.S. institutions for people with mental illness came together in Philadelphia for a four-day meeting that led to the creation of the Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane. It was the first national medical society in the U.S. In 1892, the Association’s name was changed to the American Medico-Psychological Association, and in 1921, it became the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
“The APA’s founders were determined to provide their patients with psychosocial care in a humane environment,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “They gathered to talk about the common challenges they faced and to advance treatments to improve the lives of their patients. In the 175 years since, the APA and its members have worked to promote the highest quality of care for individuals with mental illness and substance use disorders.”
Over the past 175 years, the APA has advanced the field of psychiatry by establishing important publications and programs that are now essential to researchers, mental health practitioners and the public. Among the highlights:
Today, APA’s more than 38,500 psychiatrist members lead the way in advancing psychiatry and mental health.
The APA kicked off celebrating its 175th Anniversary during its Annual Meeting earlier this year in San Francisco. The year of commemoration concludes at the organization’s next Annual Meeting in Philadelphia in April 2020.
“We are proud to be recognizing our rich and deep history,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “By exploring our past, we can see how far we have come as a medical organization and the great potential we have moving forward.”
American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,500 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.