New psychosocial rehabilitation center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

New psychosocial rehabilitation center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

In August, as part of the Health Sector Reform Plan, the Dominican Ministry of Public Health, presented the newly renovated and fully equipped Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center.

The ceremony was led by the Minister of Health, Dr. Altagracia Guzmán Marcelino; by Dr. Ángel Almánzar, the Ministry's Mental Health General Director; and by PAHO/WHO Representative in the country, Dra. Alma Morales Salinas, who was accompanied by PAHO/WHO Mental Health Unit Chief, Dr. Dévora Kestel.

The aim of this new center is to provide humanized professional care and personalized aid to people with mental disorders that lack any family support, so as to enable them to reintegrate into their families and communities and actively contribute to them.

"As of this moment people with mental conditions will be treated humanely, as this Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center together with the Crisis Intervention Units (UIC) in national, provincial and regional hospitals, as well as mental health services in primary care units, represent an approach to the local population and improving the quality of care", assured the Minister of Public Health. The center has trained staff and an infrastructure that exceeds the standards in the area of mental health, she said.

Dr. Dévora Kestel pointed out that since 1990, with the signing of the Declaration of Caracas, the Organization and its member states made a commitment to safeguard the human rights of people with mental disorders, providing quality, community-based, mental health care services. In this context, she recognized the Ministry's efforts to take responsibility for the delivery of care to people with mental disorders through an integrated community mental health services network.

PAHO/WHO and the Ministry of Health take on the challenge of guaranteeing the continuity and quality of these services under the new health care model currently being implemented in the country.