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Seeking to reduce the gap in mental health care


In order to prepare mental health professionals so that they can provide better care to people with emotional disorders, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) U.S.-Mexico Border Office-, in collaboration with Sanitary Jurisdiction II of the Health Secretariat, organized a training workshop in the use of WHO’s “mhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized health settings". It was run by the Panamanian psychiatrist, Edgar Agames, and Dévora Kestel, PAHO/WHO Regional Advisor on Mental Health.

As part of the strategy to integrate mental health into primary care, this workshop -held in Ciudad Juárez, in April, - was aimed at 38 primary care professionals from Sanitary Jurisdiction II, health centers, the General Hospital, the Women’s Hospital, the Civil Freedom Hospital, and the Coordination for Addictions, among others.

The mhGAP Intervention Guide’s objective is to prepare non-specialized workers, particularly those in primary care, so that they can detect and track the most common disorders, thus reducing the gap in mental health care. The modules discussed during the training were those on depression and on other significant emotional or medically unexplained complaints.


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