Starting from a small group of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other professionals working and publishing in related areas, PsyR research has come into its own during the last three decades. The first regular issue of Schizophrenia Bulletin, a quarterly journal of the National Institute of Mental Health, was published in 1974. This journal was dedicated to facilitating "the dissemination and exchange of information about schizophrenia." In 1977 the IAPSRS and the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation launched the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal, today called the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. This quarterly journal has been the primary source for PsyR research, evaluation, and ideas. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Skills, today called the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, published by the Illinois Institute of
Technology and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, is dedicated to publishing PsyR research from around the world. Several other journals regularly carry PsyR research and evaluation reports, such as Psychiatric Services, an American Psychiatric Association journal, and Community Mental Health Journal, the journal of the National Council of Community Mental Health Centers. Articles about PsyR also appear in journals from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, social work, vocational rehabilitation, and other disciplines.
International, national, and local PsyR conferences are excellent places for discussing PsyR research, evaluation, and ideas. Initially, these conferences provided the opportunity for PsyR professionals to get together with others doing the same work to share ideas. Today's conferences include consumers and family members and take in a broad spectrum of issues and interests. The United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association (USPRA, formerly IAPSRS), which holds a yearly conference at a major city in the United States, has chapter organizations in more than 40 states. These state organizations also sponsor conferences, meetings, and institutes on special topics. The World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR) sponsors a congress of PsyR professionals approximately every 2 to 3 years at a major world city. WAPR congresses are genuine multi-lingual, multi-cultural events with presentations by PsyR professionals representing countries from the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
These worldwide conferences help to emphasize the global nature and impact of severe mental illness. With some slight variations, the incidences of diseases such as schizophrenia are constant both around the world and over time. The plight of persons experiencing severe and persistent mental illness in Third World countries is especially troubling. At the 1989 WAPR congress, Dr. Vijay Nagaswami of the Schizophrenia Research Foundation in Madras, India, stated that "In developing countries . . . the mentally ill continue to languish and can be considered lucky if they receive even medication" (1989, p. 20). The international PsyR movement is actively promoting the sharing of knowledge and ideas to meet this challenge.
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