Remembering High Holy Days of Psychiatry


The annual American Psychiatric Association meeting: high holy days of psychiatry. Will we see you there?

As this video from last September indicates, I think our annual American Psychiatric Association meeting could be considered to be our “High Holy Days of Psychiatry", or at least high holy days for psychiatrists. I had hoped we would meet live this year, and we are, though still adjusting psychologically and otherwise to the pandemic.

Unfortunately, the song excerpt that my wife Rusti sang to begin the video, “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream”, was prescient in some way. It is an old anti-war song. In September, we had just withdrawn from Afghanistan, but now we have “entered” the war in Ukraine.

In this video, I also focused on the prayer given in 1985 by the psychiatrist and clergy, the late E. Mansell Pattison, which was titled A Prayer for Psychiatry. I would like to convey a much simpler one that resonates with this year’s theme on the social determinants of mental health: I pray that psychiatrists can help address our numerous social psychiatric problems.

Collectively, we can make that dream come true.

Dr Moffic is an award-winning psychiatrist who has specialized in the cultural and ethical aspects of psychiatry. A prolific writer and speaker, he received the one-time designation of Hero of Public Psychiatry from the Assembly of the American Psychiatric Association in 2002. He is an advocate for mental health issues relate to climate instability, burnout, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism for a better world. He serves on the Editorial Board of Psychiatric Times™.

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