Panama: depression and adolescence
A Central American subregional workshop on "Identification, diagnosis and treatment of depression in adolescents" was held in
Panama, March 6-8. It was coordinated by PAHO/WHO Collaborating Center for Mental Health Training and Policy at
Canada). The workshop was facilitated by Iliana García Ortega and Stan Kutcher. The Pan American Health Organization was represented by Jorge Rodríguez, Senior Advisor on Mental Health, and Víctor Aparicio, Subregional Advisor on Mental Health for
Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean.
English-Speaking Caribbean Countries: mental health in disaster situations
Antigua, April 23-26. The Pan American Health Organization in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of
Antigua and Barbuda organized a workshop of experts on "Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Disasters” in the
Caribbean. The workshop was facilitated by Dévora Kestel, PAHO/WHO Regional Advisor on Mental Health, Nicole Wynter, from the Subregional Office for the Caribbean (CPC), and Tomo Kanda, from the Office for the Eastern Caribbean Countries (ECC). Also present were Jorge Rodríguez, PAHO/WHO Senior Advisor on Mental Health, and Mark Van Ommeren from the World Health Organization in
Geneva. The meeting was opened by Rhonda Sealy-Thomas,
Antigua’s Chief Medical Officer.
“Depression: A Global Crisis” is the new theme proposed by the World Federation for Mental Health to celebrate World Mental Health Day on October 10, 2012.
For more information visit: http://www.wfmh.org/.
El Salvador: advances in mental health
El Salvador’s “National Mental Health Policy” was officially launched in November 2011. The government is currently working on the development of a mental health law. As a result of the processes promoted by the health reform, the National Mental Health Program has opened new services in general hospitals and has improved existing ones. They are also planning to create three more mental health units in the eastern part of the country, at San Miguel’s, Usulután’s and Cojutepeque’s hospitals.
Strengthening Costa Rica’s mental health policy
Costa Rica’s Vice Minister of Health, Sisy Castillo Ramírez, is driving a review of the national mental health policy guidelines. It seeks to guarantee citizens the right to enjoy good mental health and to promote their families’ welfare and development. To this end, they created a national committee composed of experts in the field. It receives PAHO/ WHO’s technical support.
Agency-, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MINSAL) and the Pan American Health Organization, organized a seminar on Mental health care and protection in emergencies and disasters. H. Kato, Y. Tominaga and S. Kochi were invited to describe their experience in
Japan’s earthquake and tsunami. They explained the concept and application of “kokoronocare” (psychological first aid). Gisela Acosta, Chief of MINSAL’s Department of Emergencies and Disasters, and Alfredo Pemjean, Head of the National Mental Health Program, presented the national “Plan for Mental Health in Emergencies and Disasters.” Similarly, Víctor Aparicio, PAHO/WHO Subregional Advisor on Mental Health, described the regional context in emergencies and disasters from the Organization’s perspective.
Advances in Perú
The new Peruvian Mental Health Executive Director, Gloria Cuevas, together with the Reform Promotion Group (GIR) have started developing guidelines for the reorientation of mental health services towards community-based care, as well as technical norms on mental health care for health centers, by levels of complexity.
Peru: inter-agency consultation on the National Mental Health Plan
A meeting with the Reform Promotion Group -GIR- was convened within the context of an inter-agency consultation process organized to discuss the National Mental Health Plan and to design a roadmap to comprehensively and intersectorally address the problem of harmful use of alcohol and other psychoactive substances.
Honduras: humanitarian emergency at Comayagua Penitentiary
More than 350 people died and many suffered bone fractures and burns as a result of a fire at Comayagua Penitentiary (
Honduras) in February. At the request of the Ministry of Health, PAHO/WHO provided mental health technical support through Víctor Aparicio, Subregional Advisor on Mental Health, and Gaspar Da Costa, Panamanian psychiatrist specialized in humanitarian emergencies.
Honduras: training of primary care professionals in the use of mhGAP
During the first quarter of 2012,
Honduras started the implementation of WHO’s “mhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized health settings".
Buenos Aires Consensus
Associations of family members that
work in mental health in
Latin America reached consensus on the promotion of human rights in mental health in the Region. After the meeting, which was held in
Buenos Aires, in March, they agreed to promote the integration of mental health care within general hospitals, to adjust mental health budgets to international standards, and to include mental health and human rights in the curricula of university careers in the field of health and law.
For more information (only in Spanish) please visit the Web Page from Argentina.
On March 17-19, under the Joint Rural Development Coatan-Suchiate Program, PAHO/WHO Representation in
Guatemala, in coordination with the Executive Secretariat Commission against Addictions and Illicit Drug Trafficking (SECCATID), the National Program of Mental Health and San Marcos Health Area, started a sensitization and training process on prevention of alcohol use at community level and on how to approach alcohol use related problems in primary health care.
Seeking to reduce the gap in mental health care
In order to prepare mental health professionals so that they can provide better care to people with emotional disorders, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) U.S.-Mexico Border Office-, in collaboration with Sanitary Jurisdiction II of the Health Secretariat, organized a training workshop in the use of WHO’s “mhGAP Intervention Guide for mental, neurological and substance use disorders in non-specialized health settings". It was run by the Panamanian psychiatrist, Edgar Agames, and Dévora Kestel, PAHO/WHO Regional Advisor on Mental Health.
Mental Health Post Graduate Diploma Course concluded
About 45 students completed the Mental Health Post Graduate Diploma Course offered by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) United States-Mexico Border Office, the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez (UACJ), the Center for Development and Therapeutic Care (CEDAT), and Human Growth and Education for Peace (C.HEPAZ). The course was designed to train professionals in the field of care for victims of violence.
At the recent XXVI Central American Psychiatric Congress held in
Panama during the last week of March, the Central American Psychiatric Association (ACAP) issued a declaration to strengthen post-graduate processes in psychiatry.
Lilia Uribe receives ACAP award
Lilia Uribe, psychiatrist responsible for the psychosocial rehabilitation service of
Costa Rica’s Psychiatric Hospital, was awarded the ACAP Order for her professional accomplishments in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation and psychiatry, both in
Costa Rica and earlier in
Honduras. The ceremony took place during the XXVI Central American Congress of Psychiatry held in
Panama. The award was instituted in 2005.
Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human Rights 2012-2013
The Indian Law Society (ILS) in
India, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, announced the opening of admissions to the International Diploma in Mental Health Law and Human Rights for the 2012-2013 academic year.
WHO report - Dementia: a public health priority
The World Health Organization has just released the WHO report - Dementia: a public health priority.
New publication in
Health and Community
Health and Community
This new semiannual publication was launched by the mental health area of the Community Health Department at the
Argentina). The magazine aims to "generate processes of research, opinion and debate on prevalent problems in order to bring together professionals and social and cultural sectors involved in mental health issues and human rights."
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Disaster Situations in the
Many publications addressing mental health issues in disaster situations have been produced in the last decade. Nevertheless, the specific reality of the
Caribbean, with its limited number of mental health professionals and its high vulnerability to natural hazards, requires material that specifically addresses these characteristics and reflects the latest developments and approaches.
This new publication is directed to
Caribbean health sector managers, community workers and other disaster and health professionals. It provides guidance on improving mental health and psychosocial support primarily in two phases of the disaster cycle: preparedness and response, and to a lesser extent, recovery.
Bugs, Drugs and Smoke: Stories from Public Health
This publication of the World Health Organization is available online.
Journal of Community Psychiatry: Mental health and humanitarian emergency
(only in Spanish)
The Spanish journal “Cuadernos de Psiquiatría Comunitaria” has devoted its latest issue to the topic "Mental health and humanitarian emergency." The articles deal with emergencies in the earthquakes of
Haiti, as well as the humanitarian emergency in
Editorial Committee: Jorge Rodríguez, Hugo Cohen, Víctor Aparicio, Dévora Kestel, Maristela Monteiro, Maria Florencia Di Masi y Martha Koev.
PAHO’s Mental Health Bulletin is published bimonthly in English and Spanish.
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