Mexico City, July 9, 2009. The Symposium on Strategies to Psychiatric Care was opened by the Mexican Secretary of Health, José Angel Cordova Villalobos, who stressed the need to continue strengthening mental health services and emphasized the importance of ambulatory and community care and the essential family involvement in the rehabilitation of patients.
Among other participants, Carla Hammeken, of the Voice for Mental Health, noted the importance of the role of patients and their families to improve the mental healthcare system. Bernardo Fernandez del Castillo referred to the legislative changes necessary to adapt to the new system of community care. The General Director of the Ramon de la Fuente National Institute of Psychiatry, Maria Elena Medina-Mora, stressed the importance of mental disorders in the whole global burden of disease. Olga Toro, from
Chile, discussed the experience of community care in her country. Victor Aparicio, the Pan American Health Organization’s Sub-regional advisor on Mental Health for
Mexico and the Hispanic Caribbean presented PAHO’s strategy to improve and extend care in mental health.