About Us


The San Diego Psychiatric Society is dedicated to promoting the highest quality care for people with mental disorders and to serving the professional needs of San Diego's psychiatric physicians.


That all residents of San Diego will have universal access to quality psychiatric care and prevention at least in part as a result of the San Diego Psychiatric Society’s successful advocacy as the voice of California's psychiatric physicians.


The San Diego Psychiatric Society's organizational objectives include the advancement and improvement of care for persons with mental illness through public information, education and awareness programs and materials.

How We Achieve Our Goals

The San Diego Psychiatric Society achieves their goals by liasoning with the California Psychiatric Association to work directly with the Senators and Assembly Representatives in Sacramento to provide support for laws that protect the mentally ill and practice of medicine. In addition, the Society works with the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, to provide support for local legislation that also give protection to San Diego County residents.

These laws include expanding access to mental health services, protecting patient confidentiality, preventing discrimination against the mentally ill and protecting the basic rights and human dignity of those afflicted with mental illness.

In addition to changing laws and regulations, the Society works on eliminating stigma about mental illness by educating the public with factual information. This includes involvement in health fairs, mental health awareness events and our website.

Because psychiatry is the blend of medical and mental health care, we also work closely with the San Diego County Medical Society, California Medical Association and other organizations, including the San Diego branch of The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), to provide a voice for the mentally ill and their families.

How We Fit In

The San Diego Psychiatric Society is the fifth District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association, and is one of five District Branches constituting the California Psychiatric Association, which is also Area 6 of the American Psychiatric Association.

We were founded in 1971 and are a medical specialty society with more than 355 psychiatric physician members located throughout San Diego and Imperial counties. We are the primary mental health advocates for quality patient care.

The San Diego Psychiatric Society works to improve public awareness of mental illness and increase legislative and financial support of psychiatric care. Members work in community mental health organizations, academic institutions, government settings and private offices and advise the legislature on mental health issues.

The American Psychiatric Association was founded in 1844. It is the world's largest psychiatric organization, a medical specialty society representing more than 33,000 psychiatric physicians from the United States and around the world. Its members work together to ensure humane care and effective treatment for all persons with mental disorders, including intellectual developmental disorders and substance use disorders.  The APA is the voice and conscience of modern psychiatry.

The mission of the APA is to:

  • Promote the highest quality care for individuals with mental disorders (including intellectual developmental disorders and substance use disorders) and their families
  • Promote psychiatric education and research
  • Advance and represent the profession of psychiatry
  • Serve the professional needs of its membership.


The APA is divided into seven Areas, each representing either groups of contiguous states or, in the case of New York State and California, a single large state. The state of California is Area 6 of the APA, also known as the California Psychiatric Association. The Area provides the regional organizational structure as the interface between the APA's Assembly and the District Branches and promotes the relationship between organized psychiatry and state governments.

District Branches

With the exception of New York State and California, each Area is further divided into District Branches, each of which represents a single state. Due to their size and complexity, Area 2, New York State, and Area 6, California, are further divided into several District Branches, each representing members in geographic subdivisions within the state. New York State has 19 District Branches; California has 5 District Branches. The San Diego Psychiatric Society is one of California's 5 District Branches.

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