Restructuring and scaling up mental health care for impactful change

Restructuring and scaling up mental health care for impactful change

Join us on Wednesday, April 17, 20234, at 11:00 a.m. (EDT) for the webinar Restructuring and Scaling up Mental Health Care for Impactful Change, an event to promote a community-based mental health approach.

The event will incorporate insights and recommendations from key documents, such as the World Mental Health Report, “Transforming Mental Health for All," with special attention to Chapter 7 titled "Restructuring and Scaling Up Care for Impact.” Additionally, it is supported by the "WHO Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030," aligning with the six strategic lines of action outlined by PAHO to improve mental health and prevent suicide in the Americas region. This initiative particularly resonates with the first strategy, which aims to strengthen leadership, governance, and multisectoral partnerships, integrating mental health into all policies. Likewise, it is closely linked to the second strategy, which aims to improve the availability, accessibility, and quality of community mental health services, further supporting the advancement of deinstitutionalization.


1. Highlight the opportunities that exist in communities to expand access and coverage to comprehensive mental health services.

2. Facilitate the exchange of experiences in the field of community mental health, involving mental health experts, individuals with lived experience, and other health professionals.

3. Share the resources available for developing a community-based mental health service that protects and promotes human rights in mental health.

Webinar series

This webinar is the first one of the series Foundations for Change in Mental Health in the Americas. For more information on the series and the next events, please click here: 

More information


 How to participate


The unmet mental health needs in the Region of the Americas are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, deeply impacting the health, social, and economic well-being of those affected, as well as their families, friends, and communities. In the realm of mental health, individuals with psychosocial disabilities often lack access to services that respect their rights and dignity. Consequently, individuals frequently express dissatisfaction with current services, as they often fail to meet their needs or provide necessary support for leading fulfilling lives in their communities, leading to feelings of hopelessness and disempowerment.

With the aim of enhancing care quality and safeguarding the rights of individuals with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities, intellectual or cognitive impairments, the PAHO/WHO will be hosting the webinar series "Foundations for Change in Mental Health in the Americas" throughout the year 2024. The first webinar will focus on restructuring and expanding community-based mental health care, understanding that transforming mental health entails strengthening community care for all those in need. This involves an integrated approach, moving away from psychiatric institutions and integrating mental health as an essential component of primary health care.


11:00 - 11:05 a.m. Welcome to the webinar

  • Carmen Martinez-Viciana, Regional Mental Health and Substance Use Advisor (NMH/MH) PAHO/WHO

11:05 - 11:20 a.m. Presentation of lived experience in Mental Health

  • Desrie Richards – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

11:20 - 11:40 a.m. Presentation of " community-based mental health services” and resources

  • Renato Oliveira e Souza, Mental Health and Substance Use Unit Chief (NMH/MH) PAHO/WHO

11:40 – 12:00 p.m. Models of community mental health services: Brazil experience

  • Marden Marques Soares Filho, Technical Advisor to the General Coordination of Deinstitutionalization and Human Rights of the Department of Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs of the Brazilian Ministry of Health

12:00 - 12:20 p.m. Models of community mental health services: Nicaragua experience

  • Rubén Dávila Sandoval, Mental health focal point of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health

12:20 p.m. Final remarks

  • Katherina Molek, International Mental Health Consultant (NMH/MH) PAHO/WHO

12:30 p.m. Closure

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

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.