A brief alert about how the American Psychiatric Association has closed the door on psychiatric survivor group involvement in the future and globalization of psychiatric labeling.

[August 2011 update: a couple of the links that originally worked for more information in this article, no longer work. But for the record, they are still included.] 

January 2006

by David Oaks, Director MindFreedom International

The USA government is helping to fund a series of private conferences throughout the world with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) about the “Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis.”

The Bush Administration provided the APA with $1.1 million for the meetings.

But guess who is not invited?

One stated goal of this series of invite-only conferences is “to promote international collaboration in order to increase the likelihood of developing a future unified DSM/ICD.”

DSM is the APA’s psychiatric label book; ICD is the disease classification system used internationally.

In other words, these meetings are about the USA and the APA influencing a global system of classifying psychiatric disorders.

These closed-door meetings may impact the lives of some 450 million people all over the globe who the World Health Organization estimates qualify for a mental disorder label at any given time.

Unfortunately, those potentially impacted do not have a voice — or even much information — about these meetings.

Dr. Darrel Regier, Executive Director of the American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education (APIRE) is in charge of the process.

APIRE is a research arm of the APA, and receives a large amount of the funding that the psychiatric drug industry gives the APA.

MindFreedom has written to Dr. Regier three times in four months about the need to include the voices of organized groups representing those affected by psychiatric diagnoses.

Dr. Regier has not replied.

Since Dr. Regier is counting on the World Health Organization to adopt his proposals, then WHO may be another place to raise concerns about this process.

Dr. Regier is apparently trying to show the USA is sensitive to international involvement. The co-chairs of each meeting pair up a USA psychiatric leader with a non-USA leader.

Dr. Regier’s next event is in Washington, D.C., 15 – 17 February 2006 on the topic of “Deconstructing Psychosis.”

The co-chairs will be Drs. Carol Tamminga of Texas and Jim van Os of Netherlands.

Dr. Tamminga e-mailed to MindFreedom on 31 December 2005 that all inquiries ought to go to Dr. Regier who is “administering and directing this effort.”

For what little information there is on these “Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis” events see the APA’s web site:


This APA web site also has information about their plans to create the new DSM-5:


To download an APA pdf of a 2004 APIRE newsletter announcing their DSM Research Planning, click here:


Document Actions