Foundations for Change in Mental Health in the Americas - a series of webinars

All over the world, mental health needs are high, but responses are insufficient and inadequate. 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 affected individuals, as well as their families, friends, and communities. Individuals with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities often face barriers to accessing services that uphold their rights and dignity. Moreover, they are subjected to adverse conditions, violence, and discrimination, including those from marginalized ethnic groups such as indigenous peoples or Afro-descendants.

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 overarching objective of enhancing care quality and safeguarding the rights of individuals facing mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities, PAHO/WHO advocates for a community-based, person-centered, rights-based, and recovery-oriented approach to transform mental health in the Americas. This approach necessitates a comprehensive restructuring of mental health services, alongside an effort to expand community-level care, foster mental health promotion and prevention, strengthen information systems, reform legislation, and maintain an unwavering commitment to human rights.