History and Mission

When was the Portuguese Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health created?

In the early “Portuguese Society of Neurology and Psychiatry” there were two Classes: Psychiatry and Neurology.

In 1979 the separation between the two specialties was decided and each constituted its own Society. When the “Portuguese Society of Psychiatry” emerged, it became truly representative and comprehensive. Representative because it became the link with the World Psychiatric Association. Comprehensive because other Portuguese Psychiatric Associations were incorporated in it, representing different branches of a common trunk.

In 1989, after new statutes, it was renamed the Portuguese Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health.

For what purposes was it created?

The Portuguese Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health aims to:

  • Be an active and truly representative institution of portuguese Psychiatrists, regardless of their schools or orientations.
  • Establish a Scientific Society open and available to respond to requests made by adherent members.
  • Actively contribute to the dignification of the work of the Psychiatrist, through the promotion of postgraduate training courses.
  • Be available to create “guidelines” for the treatment of different clinical conditions. Likewise, if requested, organize the methodology that should govern the observation of psychiatric cases in legal contexts.
  • Encourage the most diverse scientific activities of psychiatric associations or societies on topics of current relevance.
  • Establish links with related Scientific Societies from other countries in order to stimulate common activities.
  • Strengthen relationships with members of the governing bodies of the World Psychiatric Association, to which it has been affiliated for many years.

What initiatives have been developed since then?

On July 9, 2005, a collaboration protocol was signed, which has already begun to be accomplished between SPPSM and the Spanish Society of Psychiatry with the purpose of promoting joint scientific activities, the exchange of work, implementing research projects and supporting the exchange of publications between the two Societies.
In this present moment, two new Sections asked to be connected to the SPPSM: “Conciliar and Liaison Psychiatry” and “Psychiatry, Medicine and Primary Health Care”.
With the help of the European Psychiatric Association, SPPSM started to organize the first courses for the Psychiatric Interns training.
It is established with the APIP (Portuguese Association of Interns of Psychiatry) that, when an intern doctor represented in it finishes his internship and becomes a specialist in Psychiatry, he will automatically be registered as an associate member of the SPPSM.
In addition to the mentioned above, regular congresses have been held, which we naturally call “National Psychiatric Congresses”. Beyond the scientists present, both national and from other countries, we seek to have similar Associations and Societies represented with their own space and time to organize a symposium and participate in the global activities of the congress.
It has sought to defend the rights of psychiatric patients.

What is the importance of SPPSM in relation to professionals in the specialty?

All psychiatrists find here an open door to enter and there is also enough openness and malleability to allow divergences of training or scientific orientation. The existence of this common trunk represents what we think is desirable for Portuguese psychiatry.
If there is a spirit of identity, sufficient malleability and unity, there will certainly be larger representation and common strength.