President address

On behalf of the Board and executive committee of the Nigerian American Psychiatrists Association(NAPA), I’d like to extend a warm welcome.
NAPA’s core mission is 3 fold: to serve as a convener, platform and a voice for the interests and concerns of Nigerian psychiatrists in the Americas, to ensure the welfare of our membership (past, present and future), and to serve the needs of Nigerians with regards to mental health and wellness.
In the wake of COVID, mental health and wellbeing has achieved a new prominence. However, access and quality of care remain pressing concerns, particularly within minoritized communities. It is of great concern that suicide rates have steadily risen over the past 2 decades, and that black youth now represent one of the highest risk groups in the US in this regard. Furthermore, these concerning trends are reflected in Nigeria and across the African continent at large. 
This renewed recognition of the importance of mental health has been accompanied by efforts to increase access to care. This includes expanded funding of psychiatry residency training slots and funding of large-scale transformation efforts such as 988. For the first time in decades, there has been a review of regulations around addiction treatment, including methadone maintenance and newer approaches such as contingency management.
As we move forward, NAPA’s new executive remains committed to the mission and vision of the original founders. We will maintain the culture of mutual support, respect, and collegiality in servicing the needs of our membership. We will continue to support younger colleagues seeking opportunities to train (or currently training) in this burgeoning specialty. We will not forget to actively engage and meet the needs of our more seasoned colleagues, who have so much still to offer from their accumulated wisdom and expertise. We will maintain and strengthen collaborative ties with sister organizations such as the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) and Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN), and will work to develop others. We will continue to support and trumpet the successes of our members who are doing excellent medical mission work both at home and in other parts of the country.
In order to accomplish these goals, the NAPA ExCo invites the participation and contributions of the membership. We will continue to present workshops at the APA annual meeting that showcase the unique talents of our members and will work hard to engage the membership through our chat groups,
quarterly membership forums and other avenues.
I’d like to extend special thanks to Dr. Ted Iheanacho and the past leadership of NAPA. Dr Iheanacho provided strong and focused leadership during an exceptionally difficult time. He and the immediate past ExCo worked hard to keep our members engaged during COVID, expanded the reach of NAPA by building collaborations with ANPA, NAPPSA and other organizations, created a membership directory and revamped the website. Critically, Dr Iheanacho personally developed a pathway for Nigerian physicians to renew their licensure to practice back at home. These noteworthy accomplishments have strengthened the foundation and prepared the way for the incoming executive group.
In conclusion, there is a lot to do in this next phase. Thankfully, we have the right assets in place to do this work; a strong foundation, rich culture, an exceptionally talented executive committee, an enthusiastic, committed membership and a seasoned board. We invite and value your support and collaboration.

Let’s get to work.

Sosunmolu Shoyinka MD, MBA.
Chief Medical Officer
Philadelphia Dept. of Behavioral Health,
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania Dept of Psychiatry
Founder, Centia Health LLC
Founder, the Curitan Foundation for Wellness.


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