Improving Mental Health through Social Determinants

Improving Mental Health through Social Determinants
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Join us on Thursday, May 16, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) for the webinar Improving Mental Health through Social Determinants. This event aims to provide a broad understanding of the social determinants related to mental health, promote the importance of cross-sector collaboration, and expand the resources available to participate in this transformation.

Webinar objectives:

  1. Provide a broad understanding of the social determinants of mental health, addressing their role as potential risk or protective factors through global scientific evidence and regional examples.
  2. Promote the importance of multi-sector collaboration based on human rights and integrate mental health into all relevant policies and sectors, such as social protection, education, housing, work, security and justice.
  3. Provide strategies and resources to address the social determinants of mental health, including the prevention of disorders and the promotion of well-being, by identifying and addressing these determinants.
  4. Facilitate the exchange of experiences between mental health professionals and representatives of other sectors, as well as people with their own experience, during the webinar.



 How to participate


The social determinants of health, defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), encompass the circumstances in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, as well as the forces and systems that influence their living conditions. Daily these conditions vary considerably among different population groups, resulting in disparities in health outcomes, including mental health. Some of these disparities may be inevitable, while others are avoidable and unnecessary, becoming inequities that require intersectoral political actions to promote equity.

It is essential to recognize and address social determinants that can have a direct or indirect impact on mental health, such as poverty, systemic racism, and stigma, as well as unequal access and provision to critical services such as health, education, housing, and employment. These determinants are linked to the origin of mental health problems, variations throughout the course of the disease, and their direct consequences on mental health and life in general. The ability to intervene in some of these social determinants represents the challenge of transforming them to mitigate or eliminate adverse consequences and reduce mental health inequities. In this way, the onset of mental health problems can be prevented; mental health can be promoted in populations, and contribute to the mental health recovery approach, which focuses on empowering people to take control of their own lives.


11:00 - 11:10 a.m. Welcome to the webinar

  • Renato Oliveira e Souza, Head of Mental Health and Substance Use Unit, PAHO/WHO

11:10 - 11:30 a.m. The social determination of mental health: Concepts and reflections

  • Fabrizio Mendez,  International consultant, Social Determinants and Health Promotion, Department of Social and Environmental Determinants for Health Equity, PAHO/WHO. - PRESENTATION

11:30 - 11:50 a.m. Intervening social determinants of mental health in Latin America

  • Franco Mascayano, Research Scientist and Director of Employment Research at the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia Psychiatry. - PRESENTATION

11:50 – 12:20 p.m. Experiences of socio-labor inclusion of groups in vulnerable situations. Learning from situated practices

  • María Soledad Burrone, Full Professor of the Institute of Health Sciences of the University of O'Higgins, Chile.
  • Marcela Inés Freytes Frey, Full Professor of the School of Social and Community Health and Rector of the University of Chubut, Argentina.
  • Marina Feldman, Lic. in Occupational Therapy, El Caldero Social Enterprise Coordinator.
  • Raúl “Tito” Quintuprao, Operator in “El Caldero”

12:20 p.m. Final comments

  • Carmen Martinez-Viciana, Regional Advisor on Mental Health and Substance Use, PAHO/WHO

12:30 pm. Closing

*At the end of each presentation, there will be 5 minutes for questions and answers.

 Webinar series

Foundations for Change in Mental Health in the Americas

With the purpose of improving the quality of care and protecting the rights of people with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities, PAHO/WHO advocates for a community-based, person-centered approach to mental health in the Americas, rights-based and recovery-oriented.

More information

Time in other cities

  • 8:00 a.m. – Los Angeles, Vancouver.
  • 9:00 a.m. -  Belmopan, Guatemala City, Managua, Mexico City, San Jose (CR), San Salvador,  Tegucigalpa,
  • 10:00 a.m. – Bogota, Kingston, Lima, Panama City,  Quito
  • 11:00 a.m.  – Asunción, Bridgetown, Caracas, Georgetown, Havana, La Paz, Port of Spain, Port-au-Prince, Nassau, Ottawa, Santiago, San Juan, Santo Domingo, Washington D.C.
  • 12: 00 a.m. -  Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Montevideo, Paramaribo.
  • 5:00 p.m. – Geneva, Madrid.

For other cities, check the local time in the following link.