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English-Speaking Caribbean Countries: mental health in disaster situations

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St John's, Antigua, April 23-26. The Pan American Health Organization in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Antigua and Barbuda organized a workshop of experts on "Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Disasters” in the Caribbean. The workshop was facilitated by Dévora Kestel, PAHO/WHO Regional Advisor on Mental Health, Nicole Wynter, from the Subregional Office for the Caribbean (CPC), and Tomo Kanda, from the Office for the Eastern Caribbean Countries (ECC). Also present were Jorge Rodríguez, PAHO/WHO Senior Advisor on Mental Health, and Mark Van Ommeren from the World Health Organization in Geneva. The meeting was opened by Rhonda Sealy-Thomas, Antigua’s Chief Medical Officer. 

It was attended by experts from different countries of the Subregion: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, S. Lucia, S. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Suriname.

During the three-day meeting participants worked on various related components, namely provision of training using the recently published book "Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Disasters in the Caribbean" (note that most of the attendants were authors or co-authors of the book); development of useful processes and tools to support their countries in the elaboration of mental health plans for emergencies; and concepts and work practices related to response teams, in order to incorporate mental health professionals to PAHO/WHO response teams.

Regional Office of the World Health Organization
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