Mental Health in the Community

In 1992, the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO/WHO) Expanded Textbook and Instructional Materials Program (PALTEX) published “Mental Health in the Community,” which was circulated widely in Latin America, especially in universities and health training technical schools. After fifteen years, a second edition based on current knowledge and experiences has been released. Professionals with experience in community health services contributed to the preparation of this publication.

The book is primarily directed to those in an academic environment, but it has valuable material for all those related to or interested in the mental health field. It contains information addressing specific population groups such as children, adolescents, and the elderly; and covers problems related to disasters, violence, suicide, and work environment.

In the final section of the book, innovative experiences in the field of community mental health in Latin America and the Caribbean are described. It is important to highlight that this Region currently has a large number of practical experiences, achievements, and lessons to offer.

In the preface, Mirta Roses, Director of PAHO, points out that “the future is promising; the means and the knowledge for treating and rehabilitating people with mental illnesses exist. Scientific evidence makes it possible for us to work towards the promotion of mental health and the prevention of many mental disorders. Governments show their political will to advance the field of mental health.”