They address the issue of mental health during the Regional Forum of the Council of Ministers of Health

On the morning of this Wednesday, April 27, the Regional Forum of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA) began, whose main theme was mental health. This forum will continue tomorrow.

After two years of pandemic, Panama is granted the Pro Tempore Presidency of said organization, said José Baruco, Secretary General of Minsa, who represented the Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre.

Baruco assured that the efforts are focused on strengthening the issue of mental health throughout the region; since after the pandemic this issue became a need for attention for the general population.

“With the celebration of this Forum, it will be possible to share strategies and experiences in order to contribute to maintaining the health of the population,” said Baruco.

On the other hand, the National Head of Mental Health of the Ministry of Health, Juana Herrera, stated that the general objective of the forum is to contribute to the strengthening of the intersectoral, interprofessional and comprehensive response to mental health in Central America and the Dominican Republic.

“This is one of the strategies that seek to collect all the information and make a roadmap so that a state and mental health policy can be developed in Central America,” explained Dr. Herrera.

In turn, Alejandra Acuña Navarro, Executive Secretary of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (SE-COMISCA) pointed out that this activity aims to generate a political document to work at the country level with concrete actions to address mental health and develop actions in this regard.

He also reported that specific issues will be discussed, such as: Consumption of alcohol and other substances; Mental Health of the migrant and refugee population; Suicidal risk behaviors; Mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies; in addition to Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

This meeting includes the participation of representatives of the ministers of health, national and international experts who will discuss, for two days, in favor of regional consensus for timely mental health among all the nations that make up COMISCA.

Writing by Nancy Pretto.

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