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.

Participants included officials from the mental health services of the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Fund. The opening ceremony was in charge of Itza Barahona de Mosca, General Health Deputy Director; Patria Portugal de León, Panama Ombudsman; José Kaled, CSS Director of Promotion, Prevention, Family Medicine and Community Action; Jorge Rodríguez, PAHO / WHO Senior Advisor on Mental Health; and Michelle Funk from WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Among the topics covered during the workshop, Jorge Rodríguez presented PAHO/WHO Strategy and plan of action on mental health; Marcel Penna, Coordinator of the National Mental Health Program, and Yadira Boyd, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (INSAM), discussed key issues for monitoring human rights in  Panama.

Michelle Funk presented WHO QualityRights tool kit to assess and improve quality and human rights in mental health and social care facilities Act, Unite & Empower for Better Mental Health. The workshop was attended by experts from  Spain and the United States, along with Cristina Lería (HHRR) and Maristela Monteiro, Regional Advisor on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, both from PAHO/WHO.

These instruments will allow a comprehensive assessment of mental health care centers and will help identify existing problems and develop effective ways to ensure good quality services that are respectful of human rights and sensitive to users’ needs, and which promote autonomy, dignity and the right to decide for themselves. The findings and recommendations of this evaluation can be of great value for designing future policies, plans and legislative reforms as well as to ensure the respect and promotion of human rights.

The practical part of the workshop was the application of the instrument through a process of observation and interviews at a psychiatric service of a general hospital. It was also implemented at an outpatient mental health service. WHO QualityRights tool kit will be used in the future at the mental health resources of the CSS and the Ministry of Health.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 10:59