Founded in 1966, the ABP has been active for more than 40 years and has a history of struggling to achieve advances favoring the specialty in Brazil. Over the years, the ABP has focused on scientific, public and social development of this medical specialty, which is dedicated caring for those who suffer from mental disorders. The association currently unites more than 5000 associates and maintains affiliates in all Brazilian states, in addition to comprising a variety of departments. This level of organization is the result of hard work by all of those who have taken part in shaping its history.

The ABP was founded on August 13, 1966, in Rio de Janeiro, at what is now the Philippe Pinel Municipal Institute. Its first president was Professor José Leme Lopes, who is considered the father of modern psychiatry in Brazil. Professor Lopes, together with a group of other full professors, changed the profile of the Association to one of a committed entity, with the aim of uniting professionals in the area through scientific events.

In its four decades of history, the ABP has had some remarkable moments. In 1970, the first CBP, which is soon to be recognized as one of the largest in the world, was held, and the first Specialist Title was awarded.
In the closing session of the CBP held in Camboriú in 1978, during the so-called “leaden years” of the military dictatorship in Brazil, the ABP unanimously approved, by acclamation, a motion to give broad, general, unlimited amnesty. In the 1980s, the ABP began to discuss the question of psychiatric hospitals: the reduction in the number of beds, the increase in the scope of the outpatient network and the creation of psychiatric units within the general hospitals.
This phase of ABP expansion coincided with the IX Worldwide Psychiatry Conference held in Rio de Janeiro in June of 1993. On that occasion, the Conference, which is the premier psychiatry event in the world, was sponsored by the ABP. The Association increased in terms of members, political power and scientific influence. In 2006, the ABP developed a series of celebrations alluding to its 40-year history. At that time, it issued the following message: “Proud of so many achievements and with eyes focused on the future, the Brazilian Association of Psychiatry congratulates all its members, collaborators, employees and directors who participated in the ABP over the last 40 years.”

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