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Workshop on Quality Management of Mental Health Services


This workshop took place in the auditorium of the San Benito Menni Psychiatric Hospital in Santa Cruz de la Sierra,Bolivia, October 2009,  with the participation of Hugo Cohen, PAHO/WHO Subregional Advisor on Mental Health, as special guest.  Patricia Tapia, Regional Representative of the Mental Health Program, coordinated the activity. The participants included national authorities and representatives of various hospitals, psychiatric institutions and mental health services from La Paz, Sucre, Cochabamba y Santa Cruz. Representatives of the Bolivian Society of Psychiatry, of the Sociedad Cruceña de Psiquiatría, of the Association of Psychologists, and of local educational institutions were present as well.

Upon concluding the workshop an agreement was signed in which the participants committed themselves to disseminate their newly acquired knowledge and to promote, within their respective institutions, the revision of the documents on quality management produced by the Ministry of Health and Sports.

In the meeting between PAHO’s Representative and the local authorities, they agreed that the Mental Health Program of the Departmental Health Services (SEDES) in Santa Cruz, with the support of the Pan American Health Organization, would continue to strengthen the training of personnel in primary health care and that they would include non-traditional actors (i.e. leaders of different churches as well as traditional healers, ‘curanderos’) in community mental health activities. A consensus was reached to design a common work agenda and to incorporate international standards and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Bolivia’s Congress. Families and users of mental health services will also play a key role.


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