PAHO and Loma Linda University join efforts to build capacity in delivering psychological interventions to at-risk individuals at the country level.

16 Jun 2022
Cover of the virtual course Problem Management Plus
16 Jun 2022

Mental Health professionals from the Caribbean and Latin America participated in a training of trainers and are developing plans to implement the training at country level

Washington DC, 16 June 2022 (PAHO) - Forty-one mental health professionals from 15 countries in the Caribbean and thirthy eight from 14 Latin American countries, enrolled in the two virtual courses, organized by the PAHO Mental Health and Substance Use Unit, in collaboration with Loma Linda University (WHO Collaborating Center). These courses aimed to build capacity in delivering psychological interventions to at-risk individuals at the country level.

The tutor-led Training of Trainers for Problem Management Plus (ToT PM+) virtual courses were offered through the PAHO Virtual Campus for Public Health. They introduced participants to brief psychological interventions developed for adults impaired by distress in communities exposed to adversity. The course, guided by the WHO Problem Management Plus (PM+) intervention guide, is in line with the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) and integrates modified aspects of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy module (CBT). It is designed to help persons experiencing mental health challenges, regardless of the cause or severity of the problem, and allows for feasible implementation in communities with limited mental health specialists.

The Latin American edition of the course was delivered from September to November 2021; and the Caribbean edition from November 2021 to January 2022. These two courses conted with participants from Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Curazao, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Monserrat, , Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, St. Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia and Venezuela.  Each edition comprised of eight weekly synchronous and asynchronous sessions of two hours per session, a total of 56 course hours. To meet the criteria for certification in the ToT PM+ course, participants were required to develop a feasible country-specific PM+ implementation plan. 

Post the formal implementation of the course PAHO, with the technical support of Loma Linda University, actively provides supervision support to these countries to facilitate the smooth delivery of their plan.

Should you require any further information on this course, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Martha Koev at koevmart@paho.org.