World Mental Health Day in Canada

 

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Main Collaborators for the 2011 World Mental Health Day at CAMH:

Akwatu Khenti, CAMH; Jorge Rodriguez, PAHO/OMS and Arun Ravindran,

University of Toronto.

 

En conmemoración del 10 de octubre, Día Mundial de la Salud Mental, la Oficina de Salud Internacional del CAMH (“Center for Addiction and Mental Health” de Canadá) y el Departamento de Psiquiatría de la Universidad de Toronto organizaron una jornada a la que denominaron “Haciendo frente a los crecientes desafíos de salud mental en América Latina y el Caribe: Una nueva estrategia para la Región. CAMH es un Centro Colaborador de la Organización Panamericana de la Salud (OPS/OMS) con una larga experiencia de trabajo conjunto con OPS en América Latina y el Caribe.

During the event, Dr. Arun Ravindran, Director of the Global Mental Affairs Section, Department of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, reinforced the need for strong partnerships: “We will continue to sponsor international collaboration that fosters innovation in efforts to meet global mental health needs as well as to reduce the stigma that persists with respect to this area.”

Guest speaker Dr. Jorge J. Rodríguez, PAHO/WHO Senior Advisor on Mental Health, shared a comprehensive perspective of the needs and challenges regarding mental health in the Americas. He outlined the new “Mental health strategy and plan of action for the Region", which includes:

    • Development and implementation of national mental health policies, plans, and laws;
    • Promotion of mental health and prevention of psychological disorders, emphasizing the psychosocial development of children;
    • Primary health care-centered mental health services delivery;
    • Development of human resources; and
    • Strengthening capacity to produce, assess and use mental health information.

“There is a big gap in terms of treatment for mental health issues; in some places that gap is near 60 to 70 per cent,” said Dr. Rodríguez. “The celebration of World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to advocate for concrete actions to address the gap and to promote effective inter-institutional work to innovate and transform reality. Primary Health Care is a priority for doing that.” Finally, Dr. Rodriguez emphasized the fact that CAMH and the University of Toronto are important partners to make a difference in the Region.