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Argentina: Creation of a Latin American network for mental health rights


Buenos Aires, 11- 12 August, 2011. With the purpose of protecting the human rights of people with mental illness, influencing public policy and promoting community-based services, civil society organizations from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay created the Latin American Network of Users, Families and Volunteers for Mental Health Rights.

The network was established within the framework of the "I National and Latin American Meeting of Families, Users and Volunteers for Mental Health Rights", organized by the Families, Users and Volunteers Network (Red FUV) -from Argentina- and by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), with the support of the National Department for Mental Health and Addictions of the Ministry of Health.

Among the attendants were Pier Paolo Balladelli, PAHO/ WHO Representative in Argentina; Valentín Barenblit, Director of the Barcelona Center for Mental Health Care, Teaching and Research; Graciela Natella, Coordinator of the Community Program for Prevalent and Severe Mental Pathologies of the National Mental Health and Addiction Department; and by Liliana Cabrera, President of Red FUV.

"We need family members to help us train professionals in the new paradigm, to develop mechanisms for inclusion, and lead our way when you believe we are not right", said Yago Di Nella, National Director of Mental Health and Addictions. Hugo Cohen, PAHO/WHO Subregional Adviser on Mental Health for South America, stressed that the Pan American Health Organization will support the new network and will promote the participation of all countries in the Region.

Under the slogan "Enjoying achievements, overcoming difficulties," the network members agreed to promote exchange and work on issues such as discrimination; lack of training in community practices; the need to eradicate the myth about the dangerousness and disability of people with mental illness, especially in the media; lack of inclusive mental health services; the need to overcome the old psychiatric hospital and to have access to effective and supportive care; accessibility to medicines; and inclusion and social and labor integration of people with mental problems.

For more information visit the website of our PAHO/WHO Representation in Argentina.


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