The countries of the Americas, with the support of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), will work together to create national programs for the care and treatment of epilepsy, a neurological disorder that affects some 5 million people in the Americas. Globally the disorder affects some 50 million people.
Presentation of the Regional strategy and action plan on epilepsy in Honduras
Tegucigalpa, Honduras. October 19, 2011. Representatives from the World Health Organization, the International League against Epilepsy (ILAE), the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE), and authorities from Latin American and Caribbean countries gathered in Tegucigalpa for the presentation of the Regional strategy and action plan on epilepsy.
PAHO/WHO Director Celebrates International Mental Health Day in Panama
Panama, October 7, 2011 (PAHO/WHO, Panama) - In the context of the International Mental Health Day, celebrated on October 10, PAHO/WHO Director, Mirta Roses Periago, presided over the event organized by Panama´s health authorities, headed by the Minister of Health, Franklin Vergara, where various issues related to the situation of mental health in the country were addressed.
World Mental Health Day in Canada
To commemorate World Mental Health Day (October 10), CAMH’s Office of International Health and the Global Mental Affairs Section (GMAS) with the University of Toronto Department of Psychiatry came together for “Meeting Latin America and the Caribbean’s Growing Mental Health Challenges: A New Strategy for the Region. CAMH is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Collaborating Centre, with a long experience of joint work with PAHO in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Victor Aparicio Basauri received recognition from PAHO/WHO Director
Victor Aparicio Basauri, PAHO/WHO Subregional Adviser on Mental Health for México, Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean received the recognition of Mirta Roses Periago, Director of the Pan American Health Organization, for his “exceptional leadership and contribution to the work of the Organization”.
International Symposium on Mental Health Nursing
The first International Symposium on Mental Health Nursing, with special emphasis on community mental health, was held in Argentina on June 27-29, 2011. It was organized by Cordoba´s Nurses Association -AEC- and supported by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).
Belize’s Technical Advisor for Mental Health receives international award
Switzerland, October 2011. Claudina Cayetano, leader of the Belize Mental Health Program received the 2011 Award for an "Outstanding achievement in the field of Mental Health Care" offered by the Swiss Foundation for World Health, in collaboration with WHO. This award is given to a person whose efforts have led to a significant improvement in the provision of health care for people with mental illness.
New Regional Adviser on Substance Abuse of the Pan American Health Organization
The Pan American Health Organization has just appointed Luis Alfonzo B. as Regional Advisor on Substance Abuse. He is a psychiatrist and specialist in addictions and public health. He was born in Venezuela, where he was Head of the National Program on Alcohol and Drugs (1992-1999), National Coordinator of Mental Health (1999-2003), Adviser with the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Drug Commission, and professor of psychiatry, public health and juvenile law at the Universidad Central de Venezuela. Between 2006 and 2011, he worked as Specialist at the Drug Demand Reduction Office of the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD/OAS) in Washington D.C.
A technical cooperation project between Chile and Mexico on "Integration of psychiatric services in general hospitals: demonstration area” has just been approved. It is coordinated by the Pan American Health Organization PAHO / WHO. The project is aimed at strengthening the processes of integration of mental health to comprehensive and continuous health care models in Chile and Mexico through the exchange of knowledge and lessons learned, based on information provided by the World Health Organization Mental Health Systems Assessment Instrument, WHO-AIMS.
Two students from the International Disaster Psychology Program at the University of Denver (Colorado, United States), Sarah and Rita Stevermer Salky, did an internship of eight weeks in Panama during the months of July and August. The interns participated in activities for risk prevention in humanitarian emergencies and visited the mental health programs of the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Fund. They also had clinical practice sessions with the mental health team of the capital’s Policentro Parque Lefevre.
Leon, Nicaragua: II Mental Health Services Management Course
The II Mental Health Services Management Course on-site week took place at the Autonomous University of Nicaragua in León on August 8-12. This course, currently being developed on PAHO/ WHO virtual campus platform, has a duration of 147 hours (35 classroom hours). It was attended by 29 students from 11 countries of Central America, the Latin Caribbean and Mexico.
A workshop to adapt the module on epilepsy of WHO´s mhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized settings to the socio-sanitary context of the Dominican Republic, was organized under the technical cooperation project between-countries (TCC between Panama, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala) dedicated to "the comprehensive care of epilepsy". The workshop was coordinated by Victor Aparicio, Subregional Adviser on Mental Health of the Pan American Health Organization - PAHO/WHO, and was attended by a group of experts in mental health, primary care and neurology, which included the neurologist Pedro Roa, Coordinator of the TCC in the Dominican Republic.
On August 3-5, Professor Raffaella Meregalli of Cittadino (Italy) coordinated a workshop to train 31 professionals (26 from Panama and five from other countries) in the use of the modules on depression, epilepsy and other significant emotional or medically unexplained complaints (OTH) of WHO´s mhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized settings.
Reports of the assessment of mental health systems in Cuba, Mexico and Haiti using WHO Assessment Instrument for Mental Health Systems (WHO-AIMS) are already available on WHO and PAHO web pages. These three reports complete the evaluation of all mental health systems in Central America, the Latin Caribbean and Mexico.
Guatemala: Workshop on epilepsy comprehensive care
On September 5 and 6, the technical cooperation project between Panama, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala organized a workshop in Guatemala City on the "comprehensive care of epilepsy in the primary care framework." The three delegations discussed the approach to epilepsy in their respective countries and the project's progress in implementing the epilepsy module of WHO mhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized settings. The three countries have already adapted the module to the local context and have trained several facilitators.
On August 31 and September 1, Víctor Aparicio, PAHO/WHO Subregional Advisor on Mental Health coordinated a train-the-trainers workshop on the use of the epilepsy module of WHO mhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized settings. These new facilitators from Tegucigalpa, Comayagua, La Ceiba and Olancho, will be responsible for organizing future training workshops for primary care professionals in various departments of the country.
Editorial Committee: Jorge Rodríguez, Hugo Cohen, Víctor Aparicio, Maristela Monteiro, Maria Florencia Di Masi and Martha Koev
PAHO’s Mental Health Bulletin is published bimonthly in English and Spanish.
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