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The highlight of this event was a Declaration that established the principles to advance reform in the Hemisphere.

The compilation of legislation was also completed. In September, the PAHO Directing Council discussed and adopted a technical document and a resolution on mental health that, among other things, urged the Member States to: Administration of Mental Health Services]. Antecedrntes retired in Octoberand Dr.

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. 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. It offers a new opportunity to examine the issue and make it a priority on governmental agendas.


Three conferences were held as part of this project: Recommendations were made for integrating mental health programs into the public health context and for promoting the participation of communities, patients, and family members in the planning and delivery of services, as well as for amending existing mental health legislation.

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

Velazco Fe focused psiqjiatria on conducting a situation analysis of mental health in the Region. 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. An international epidemiological study on the prevalence of epilepsy in Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Venezuela was also promoted.

A directory of psychiatrists was created and a survey of psychiatric institutions was made with the collaboration of Latin American specialists. Between July and OctoberDr.

La Reforma de los Servicios de Salud Mental: Five major subject areas are mentioned:. In OctoberDr. Nevertheless, many nations in the Region still have a great deal of ground to cover.

Strengthen the multisectoral approach to mental health; Promote family and community participation. At this event, actions were proposed for the development of regional subprograms on: Between andseveral technical meetings on mental health education were held, involving professors and subject specialists.

Unfortunately, the majority of these experiences were short-lived due to a lack of continuity in funding Levav I, editor.

Background and historical development of PAHO Mental Health Program

Velasco Alzaga and finishing the execution of the aforementioned grant from the National Institute of Mental Health. Jorge Velasco Alzaga, was appointed as Regional Adviser, a position he held until Support was also provided for two subregional mental health seminars, which were attended by representatives from the mental health departments and programs of the countries in the Region.


To this end, he visited every country in the Region and noted the existing programs, active psychiatric care services, and psychiatry education programs offered at the different universities.

Final report; Washington, DC: The main objective of the meeting was to reach an agreement on the changes needed to modernize psychiatric care and promote broader, more comprehensive mental health activities.

A similar, shorter-lived group was created in the Andean subregion. Partnering for Progress,” which was held in Washington D.

Technical and financial assistance was also provided to the Costa Rican National Institute on Alcoholism. A fe collaboration program was launched in almost every country in the Region, which lasted for several years in the s.

A Manual for Health Workers]. 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. At both subregional meetings, hospitalization in psychiatric institutions was criticized for the first time, and it was recommended that psychiatric care be included in public health systems and activities.