WFPU First committee meeting, Mexico City Print

World Federation of Psychiatric Users

First committee meeting

Mexico City, 23 August 1991.


Jan Dirk van Abshoven (Netherlands), Paolo del Vecchio (USA), Bob Long (USA) - replacing Esperanza Isaac, Mary O'Hagan (New Zealand), Pauline Hinds (New Zealand), Natosughi (Japan), Masaji Koganezawa (Japan) Adriana Lopez (Mexico)

   1. Meeting rules
   2. Name for organisation
   3. Priority tasks
   4. Who will do what and when


Mary began by stating the need for cooperation. She said the meeting would run by consensus but there will be a vote for some agenda items. There will be no formal 'rules of order'. Each country represented will have one vote.


There was some discussion about what term to call ourselves by. Survivor, client, inmate, psychiatrically labelled, purchaser and ex-patient were rejected. Opinion was divided between "user" and "consumer". The USA favoured "consumer". Mexico, New Zealand, Japan and the Netherlands favoured "user".

The following suggestions for the name of the organisation were put to the vote.

    * World Federation of Mental Health Users Holland
    * World Federation of Psychiatric Users Mexico, NZ
    * International Federation of Psychiatric Survivors
    * Worldwide Congress of MH Consumers
    * Worldwide Network of Psych Users Japan
    * World Union of Mental Health Consumers USA

The name of the organisation is:

World Federation of Psychiatric Users

3. PRIORITISING tasks for the next two years

The following tasks were developed before the meeting. Each country voted on on what they thought should be the top three priorities for the next two years.

   1. Network and inform users and user groups of the WFPU and increase membership. Produce and distribute a newsletter.
   2. Hold international teleconferences
   3. Produce and distribute discussion papers to users, professionals etc on the following issues:
          * ECT
          * Neuroleptics
          * third world issues
          * self- help / self-advocacy
          * psychiatric labelling
          * international bill of rights
   4. Unified and coordinated response to any major rights violations that occur
   5. Administrative tasks:
          * fundraising
          * yearly lists and censuses
          * information storage
          * coordination of tasks
          * development of rules
          * correspondence
          * logo / letterhead
          * committee meetings
          * pamphlets
   6. Continue user contact with WFMH and encourage users to go to Tokyo and to organise a user only conference before or after the World Congress for Mental Health, in Tokyo in 1993.

All countries voted for 1, 5 and 6 as priorities for the next two years.

    * Newsletter / Networking / Membership
    * Administrative tasks
    * Contact with WFMH / Users to Tokyo

The non-priority tasks could still be done if there was time and energy for it.


Many of the details decided on about the priority tasks are in the WFPU Plan (enclosed) which allocates who will do what and by when. Discussion not included in the Plan follows.


The newsletter will be free. It will be published every 6 months.


Membership shall be US $5.00 but users will have the option of paying no fee if they cannot afford it.


New Zealand will provide the office and administrative tasks for WFPU for the next two years.


There was a wide ranging discussion on ways to get funding. People felt it would be unethical to get sponsorship from drug companies. Funding will be needed for a pamphlet on WFPU. The Japanese could be approached for funding for user travel/conference to Tokyo. Fifty percent of funding should go to groups in originating country once WFPU is well-established.