Photo: Valeria Shapira
Benedetto Saraceno is retiring from the World Health Organization (WHO) after a long and rich professional career full of significant milestones achieved both before joining WHO and during his time as Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
Benedetto Saraceno began his career as a clinical psychiatrist and worked alongside leaders of the psychiatric reform in
During these missions, he started his long lasting relationship with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). He was one of the most visible figures at the “Conference for the Restructuring of Psychiatric Care in Latin America,” which took place in
The following are some important achievements during his time as Director: the ministers of health throughout the world discussed mental health problems for the first time at the 2001 World Health Assembly; World Health Day 2001 was devoted to mental health after an interval of four decades; and the World Health Report was used as a guide to develop important mental health initiatives, such as the Mental Health Global Action Program (mhGAP) and the World Health Organization Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS).
Dr. Saraceno has collaborated with most countries in the