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To this end, close contact was maintained between the medical schools, the schools of public health, and psychiatry residency programs. Some of the most important elements of the period were: Some of the most important elements of the period were:.

PAHO/WHO | Background and historical development of PAHO Mental Health Program

The issue of alcohol and substance abuse was separated from mental health so it could be included in the Tobacco, Alcohol, and Substance Abuse Project, under the Sustainable Development and Environmental Health Area. Five major subject areas are mentioned: A directory of psychiatrists was created and a survey of psychiatric institutions was made with the collaboration of Latin American specialists.

Jorge Velasco Alzaga, was appointed as Regional Adviser, a position he held until Based in Panama, a consultant was appointed to advise the Central American countries, Mexico, and the Latin Caribbean.

A project known as “Mental Health, Disabilities and Rehabilitation” was created, which, in addition to mental health, included the component of physical and mental disability.

Background and historical development of PAHO Mental Health Program

Administration of Mental Health Services]. Technical and financial support from the U. Five major subject areas are mentioned:. Al similar, shorter-lived group was created in the Andean subregion.

The launch of the Regional Initiative for the Restructuring of Psychiatric Care in Latin America during the Caracas Conference in Venezuela, held between 11 and 14 Novemberwas an historic event in this period. Nevertheless, over the two decades in question, PAHO increased the number of consultancies on the organization of mental health services and developed a fellowships policy for training outside the countries that focused on the public health approach to mental health, leaving the work of psychiatric specialization to the countries themselves.


Inthe name of the technical unit was changed to the Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Rehabilitation Unit to indicate the subject areas in which it worked. As part of these processes, the Central America and Panama Action Group was created, which lasted for several years. Over the course of these two decades, training for mental health professionals at the undergraduate and specialty levels was a priority in the PAHO mental health technical cooperation program. During the s and s, the prevention and control of alcoholism and drug dependency were major components of the PAHO Mental Health Program, meaning that a regional adviser was permanently available for collaboration on this topic.

Three conferences were held as part of this project: The idea that promoting changes in psychiatric care was convenient and necessary was gradually gaining ground, even though the time had yet not come for this to translate into specific stances or regional programs.

Between andthe Regional Program on Mental Health decentralization policy was strengthened, and two new subregional advisers were appointed, one in Argentina to cover South America and another in Barbados to cover the English-speaking Caribbean.

The compilation of legislation was also completed. Other community mental health approaches also bear mentioning: Temas de salud mental en la comunidad [Mental Health Issues in the Community]. Some major events took place in Even though the new Declaration addressed already existing problems, no direct focus had been placed on these issues during the Caracas meeting, which centered more on reforming services and protecting the human rights of people with mental disorders.

If we were to evaluate the historical development of mental health services in Latin America and the Caribbean, using the Caracas Declaration as a point of reference, marked progress would clearly be observed in the majority of countries. From December and OctoberDr. La Reforma de los Servicios de Salud Mental: Another notable element in was a major project financed by the U.


Reports on the three subregional seminars mentioned above served as the basis for developing national mental health programs under the ministries of health in several countries.

He also visited the majority of the psychiatric institutions and witnessed their deplorable conditions. In OctoberDr. In September, the PAHO Prehispaincos Council discussed and adopted a technical document and a resolution on mental health that, among other things, urged the Member States to: It offers a new opportunity to examine the issue and make it a priority on governmental agendas.

New publications were also released: The Administrative functions are since then covered by the Management Area. Itzhak Levav was hired as a Temporary Adviser until a new unit chief was appointed.

mexuco Special emphasis was placed on the prevention and control of epilepsy and mental pa intellectual disabilitiesand the U. An international epidemiological study on the prevalence of epilepsy in Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela was also promoted. Develop National Mental Health Programs; Refocus mental health services from institutional to community settings ; Implement measures to control emotional disorders, epilepsies, and psychoses; Strengthen activities to promote the mental health and psychosocial development of children; Increase funding for mental health training programs; Improve legislation and regulations to protect human rights.

Inthe work “Temas de Salud Mental en la Comunidad” [Mental Health Issues in the Community] was published and widely disseminated throughout the Hemisphere, particularly in universities and technical health schools.

At this meeting, mexicoo emphasis was placed on a comprehensive approach to mental health as opposed to the more restrictive view of psychiatric care, and psychiatric hospitals were more directly criticized.

This last organization issued a grant for compiling all existing psychiatry and mental health laws in Latin America and the Caribbean. A technical collaboration program was launched in almost every country in the Region, which lasted for several years in the s.