Modest Beginnings to Statewide Prominence

The roots of the California Psychiatric Association were planted in 1961, evolving over the decades until our official incorporation in 1992. We have grown and changed significantly over those decades, starting as a modest collection of regional organizations to today’s statewide organization with more than 5000 physician members and five robust district branches that contribute significantly to our collective strength.

Our headquarters are in Sacramento where staff has almost immediate access to the California State Capitol and state policy makers. Core staff consists of a small, yet highly effective team that

communicates important legislative developments to membership, and monitors state and national news regarding matters affecting the perception and management of mental health issues. Staff coordinates activities and meetings, manages member input and collaborates with other relevant associations to build support for CPA positions on legislation and policy. Of course, another focus of CPA staff is to sustain and strengthen the effectiveness of the association so that we remain national leaders in the critical arena of mental health policy. 


Member physicians who are leaders in their district branches make up CPA’s Council. The Council includes district presidents and representatives to the APA House of Delegates. The Council communicates electronically and in-person throughout the legislative year to make policy decisions and create and implement a plan of action. Meet CPA's officers for 2018 HERE.

Supporting the Council is a collection of committees including the Government Affairs Committee, which has designated subcommittees such as:


It is also crucial that CPA network with other organizations engaged in mental health issues and many of our members serve as liaisons to groups such as the Society for Addiction Medicine and other relevant entities. By engaging with organizations from multiple fields, CPA has the benefit of professional expertise that informs our own decision making. In addition, we are able to lend our own expertise and legislative experience to organizations aligned with CPA policy.

Of course, CPA asks members to assist with event organization, continuing education seminars, conferences, and community and legislative outreach throughout the year. The success and strength of the CPA depends upon our active and engaged membership. We are very proud of the robust response we get from members when we issue a call for action. The successes we’ve counted over the past several years is a testimony to the contributions of our politically informed and highly motivated members. Join CPA today!

  • The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Committee;       

  • The Public Psychiatry Committee;

  • The Managed Care and Parity Committee;

In addition, the CPA establishes ad hoc task force groups to respond to specific issues that arise, such as an analysis of potential impact of legalization of medical marijuana.




Governance Structure Starts with CPA Council

  • The Judicial Action Committee;

  • The State Facilities committee, and

  • Other subcommittees to meet current and changing legislative needs. 

Member Engagement Fuels CPA's Influence

Rancho Mirage!

California Psychiatric Association, 921 11th St., Suite 502, Sacramento CA 95814 ~ P-916.442.5196 / F- 916.442.6515