Launch of the Understanding Stigma Course – Version 2.0 and Introduction of the Mental Health Stigma Reduction Campaign

Launch of the Understanding Stigma Course – Version 2.0 and Introduction of the Mental Health Stigma Reduction Campaign

On Thursday, 18 August, PAHO will host a virtual session to launch  the Understanding Stigma Course version 2.0, and to introduce the Mental Health Stigma Reduction Campaign

Launch of the Understanding Stigma Course Version 2.0.

Developed by the Pan American Health Organization in collaboration with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, this course aims to reduce mental health-related stigma within the clinical setting. In addition, it guides primary care providers on best practice approaches to improving their clinical and practice management skills while providing service to People with Lived Experience (PWLE) of mental health concerns.

The target audience of this course is primary care practitioners (i.e., General Practitioners, Specialized Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Psychologist & Mental Health Providers) from the English-speaking Caribbean with two or more years of clinical work experience, preferably in the field of Mental Health, who are interested in enhancing their capacity to understanding stigma and implicit biases when working with PWLE in the clinical setting. This facilitator-led virtual training will be implemented from 15 August to 30 November.

For primary health professionals who have missed the application deadline (25 July 2022) but are interested in this topic area, in the coming months, PAHO will launch two aditional self-learning virtual courses on Stigma Reduction. The asynchronous course will be delivered in both English and Spanish and will be available on the PAHO Virtual Campus of  Public Health.

For more information about this course and the previous cohort, click here.

Introduction of the Stigma Reduction Campaign:.

At this session, a new Mental Health Stigma Reduction campaign will also be presented. The campaign seeks to increase awareness  of the various forms of stigma and their effects on people with mental disorders and to promote positive interactions that improves help seeking behavior. Its goal is to promote positive attitudes towards people with mental disorders. 

The campaign is aimed to adolescents and youths, health care providers, people with lived experience, media and journalists and people at work. It will be rolled out from mid August to the end of October, with the main activity around World Mental Health Day, on 10 October.

Visit frequently the campaign website, as new resources and communication materials will be made available during the duration of the campaign. 


How to participate




  • 10:00 AM - Introduction Understanding Stigma Virtual Course & Mental Health stigma reduction campaign
    • Dr. Claudina Cayetano, Regional Adivsor, Mental Health and Substance Use Unit, PAHO/WHO
  • 10:05 AM - The Virtual Campus for Public Health  
    • Dr. Gabriel Listovsky, Regional Coordination, Virtual Campus for Public Health, PAHO/WHO
  • 10:15 AM - Welcome Remarks on behalf of the Mental Health Commission of Canada
    • Mr. Mike Pietrus, Director, Mental Health First Aid & Opening Minds Canada Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • 10:25 AM - Special Remarks from CICAD
    • Dr. José Luis Vázquez, Treatment Specialist Demand Reduction Unit Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD)
  • 10:40 AM - Keynote Speaker
    • Ms. Maria Divina O’Brien, Director, MindWise Project
  • 10:55 AM - Closing remarks
    • Dr. Fernanda Lanzagorta Cerecer International Consultant on Health Promotion PAHO/WHO


Time correspondence


  • 7:00 a.m.– Los Angeles 
  • 8:00 a.m. – Belmopan, Guatemala City, Managua, San Jose (CR), San Salvador, Tegucigalpa
  • 9:00 a.m. – Bogota, Mexico City, Panamá City, Kingston, Lima, Quito
  • 10:00 a.m. – Asunción, Bridgetown, Caracas, Castries, Georgetown, Havana, La Paz, Nassau, Ottawa, Port-au-Prince, Port of Spain, San Juan, Santiago, Santo Domingo, Washington DC
  • 11:00 a.m - Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Montevideo, Paramaribo
  • 4:00 pm. – Geneva, Madrid

 For other cities, check the time in the following link