Peru, Chile, and Argentina share experiences about mental health issues

A PAHO-sponsored technical cooperation project

Argentina, Chile, and Peru have initiated a process to share successful experiences under the catchphrase “good practices in community networks and primary health care devices.” Practitioners from participating countries shared experiences and developments related to mental health issues at a working meeting held December 1 and 2 in the framework of the Technical Cooperation project sponsored by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).

According to Irma Rojas, Mental Health Advisor to the Ministry of Health of Chile, the meeting was focused on integrating mental health at the primary health care level based on Chile’s successful experience. She noted that over 80% of mental health problems are treated at the first level of care in her country, leaving the most serious and complex cases for specialized services.

The participants from Peru described the experience of a program titled Childhood Mistreatment Health Care Modules (MAMIS). The Argentine delegation then explained their experiences addressing the intersection between the justice system, mental health, and human rights.

Dr. Gloria Cueva, Coordinator of the National Mental Health Strategy of the Ministry of Health of Peru, related some of the developments in her country to which these exchanges have contributed. For example, the Rehabilitation Center for the Mentally Ill in Iquitos, an isolated and overcrowded facility, was installed in the general hospital, and authorities in Tacna are now transferring patients to the central hospital for treatment.

For more information, please visit the PAHO/Peru Website.