May - June 2011
“The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health"
2011 World Mental Health Day Theme
Presentation of the “Strategy and plan of action on epilepsy” at PAHO/WHO Executive Committee meeting
DC, June 20, 2011. For the first time, the Pan American Health Organization Executive Committee specifically addressed the issue of epilepsy as such. The presentation of the Strategy and plan of action on epilepsy undoubtedly marks a major milestone for PAHO/WHO, for the
Americas and for all those working in this field.
Canada, March 21-22, 2011. The Office of International Health at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH – PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center) hosted a symposium entitled “Strengthening mental health plans and services in the
Americas: Scaling up care for mental and substance use disorders,” which was co-organized by the Pan-American Health Organization. Policy experts, health practitioners, health ministries and academics from several countries in the
Americas, as well as representatives from PAHO/WHO collaborating centers in
Canada attended the Symposium.
Panama: Workshop on quality and human rights at mental health services
Panama City, April 27-29, 2011. The Ministry of Health (MINSA) and the Social Security Fund (CSS), with the technical support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/ WHO), organized a workshop on “Improving the quality and respect for human rights at mental health services” to strengthen the public mental health services providers network.
Efforts by alcoholic beverage makers to boost sales by appealing to younger drinkers contribute to drinking patterns that are harmful to health, said experts at a panel discussion on “Alcohol, Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases and Public Health,” held on may 2, 2011 at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) in Washington, DC.
Santo Domingo, 5-6 May 2011. A workshop on “Psychosocial rehabilitation in the community mental health network” was organized within the framework of the technical cooperation project between
Panama and the
Dominican Republic. It was coordinated by the mental health national directors of each country, José Mieses and Marcel Penna, respectively. Marcelino López, a Spanish expert from FAISEM (Fundación Andaluza para la Integración Social del Enfermo Mental), also participated in the workshop.
A workshop to adapt the mhGAP Intervention Guide modules to the socio-sanitary and cultural context of the country was held in
Panama on May 9-11. It was coordinated by Dr.Tarun Dua from WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (
A visit to share experiences on “mental health in general hospitals” was organized in
Guatemala, May 2-5, within the framework of the technical cooperation project (TCC) between
El Salvador and
Guatemala. Activities began with a two-day workshop taught by Cuban psychiatrists Mario Carballo and Marcia Basaco, who addressed the issue of mental health care in
Cuba with emphasis on child and adolescent population. Participants then visited
Hospital and the Municipality of Santiago Atitlán Health District.
A workshop on "Introducing the mental health care component in general hospitals” was held in
Guatemala City on May 17. It was promoted by Silvia Palma, Viceminister of Hospitals, within the framework of the technical cooperation project between
El Salvador and
Guatemala on the subject. The workshop's objective was to design a plan to initiate a decentralization process. In its first phase, this process is expected to cover 11 general hospitals in the country. The workshop included a group of experts comprised of professionals from the Viceministry of Hospitals, the National Mental Health Program, the
Hospital, two national reference hospitals (Hospital Roosevelt and Hospital General San Juan de Dios) and
Guatemala: adapting the mhGAP module on epilepsy
A workshop on "Bridging the gap in epilepsy” was held in Guatemala City on May 18 within the framework of the technical cooperation project between Panama, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala. The mhGAP Intervention Guide module on epilepsy was adapted to
Guatemala’s socio-sanitary context during the workshop. Virginia Ortiz, from
San Juan de
Hospital, Ana Cecilia Escobar, PAHO/WHO Consultant, and Víctor Aparicio, PAHO/WHO Subregional Advisor on Mental Health, facilitated the adjustment process. Henry B. Stokes, Coordinator of the Department of Neurology (Hospital General San Juan de Dios) and his team described the current situation of epilepsy in
Guatemala and how to manage it in order to reduce the gap in diagnosis and treatment. The activity was supported by the Viceministry of Hospitals and the National Mental Health Program.
A workshop on "Adolescents and depression: diagnosis and treatment in primary care" was held in
Panama City on June 7-8. The workshop was taught by professors Stan Kutcher and Iliana García-Ortega from Dalhousie University PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center (
Canada) and was organized by PAHO / WHO in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Social Security Fund (CSS) and the National Institute for Mental Health. It was attended by 30 professionals from the public sector (pediatricians, general practitioners and child and adolescent psychiatrists).
The objective of the course was to provide training in "Identification, diagnosis and treatment of adolescent depression in primary health care." This educational program is based on the best scientific evidence and is part of the continuing medical education accredited courses in
International Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human Rights 2011-2012
The International Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human Rights organized by the Indian Law Society (ILS)
India, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), is currently accepting applications for 2011-2012. The Diploma, in its fourth year of existence, will be starting in October 2011.
Mental health and development: targeting people with mental health conditions as a vulnerable group
The new WHO report on mental health and development is a call to action to all development stakeholders - governments, civil society, multilateral agencies, bilateral agencies, global partnerships, private foundations, academic and research institutions - to focus their attention on mental health.
The report presents compelling evidence that although people with mental and psychosocial disabilities are a vulnerable group they continue to be marginalized in terms of development aid and government attention. It makes the case for reaching out to this group through the design and implementation of appropriate policies and programmes and through the inclusion of mental health interventions into broader poverty reduction and development strategies. The report also describes a number of key interventions that can provide a starting point for these efforts. By investing in persons with mental and psychosocial disabilities, development outcomes can be improved.
WHO Atlas of headache disorders and resources in the world 2011
Despite headache is felt, at some time, by nearly everybody and almost half the world’s adults at any one time have recent personal experience of one or more of the three very common headache disorders, much is unknown about the public-health impact of these conditions, how much they affect the world population, or how health care resources are utilized to mitigate their effects.
This first global enquiry into these matters, consulting specialist and general physicians and people who have headache, is an attempt to document from country to country, region to region, the responses to a public-health priority.
This report is available at: http://www.who.int/mental_health/who_altlas_headache_disorders.pdf
Editorial Committee: Jorge Rodríguez, Maristela Monteiro, Hugo Cohen, Víctor Aparicio, María Florencia Di Masi y Martha Koev
PAHO’s Mental Health Bulletin is published bimonthly in English and Spanish.
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