Cochabamba launches Comprehensive Mental Health Plan 2022-2026 with a focus on the community – PAHO/WHO

Cochabamba, 7 November 2022 (PAHO)– The Cochabamba department today launched the Comprehensive Mental Health Plan 2022-2026 with the aim of improving the mental health of the population and reducing the incidence of mental disorders and related disabilities through the optimization of comprehensive healthcare. community approach.

Governor Humberto Sánchez, Minister of Health Daysi Rocabado, and officials from the Ministry’s Health Service (SEDES) were present at the launch, along with PAHO’s international advisor on Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, Lenildo de Moura. This plan was developed with technical support from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

On the occasion of the Governor, he said that the recent COVID-19 pandemic has proven the serious impact on the mental health of our population, so action is needed in this area of ​​health; Therefore, the preparation of the Comprehensive Mental Health Plan for the Cochabamba Department was seen as a priority in line with actions carried out at the national level.

The plan includes the proposal that mental health services should be community-based. “This represents a fundamental change in traditional psychiatric hospitals, where hospitalizations are prolonged as a result, with patient exclusion and stigma, often without the possibility of rehabilitation,” said Daysi Rocabado.

He added that the plan provides for the creation of community mental health centers or day hospitals (without overnight stays) aimed at changing the traditional paradigm and strengthening all strategies for preventing mental illness, protecting people’s fundamental rights and protecting the family. and community ties.

“The inclusion of many actors in the mental health network proposed in this plan will allow planning according to the authorities of the ministries and municipalities. As health is one of the strategic pillars of the Government of the Autonomous Department of Cochabamba, all necessary efforts will be made through the Secretary of the Department of Health to strengthen the care of patients with mental illness and advance in the improvement and transformation of holistic health care. people,” said the Ministry of Health.

PAHO/WHO international consultant Lenildo De Moura said that this technical document will serve as a guide for Mental Health Promotion activities and for the prevention and rehabilitation of mental illness in the years to come.

The Comprehensive Mental Health Plan for the Cochabamba department 2022-2026 includes the entire population of Cochabamba as the target population and highlights at-risk and vulnerable population groups: Children and adolescents; women in general and pregnant women; peasant indigenous indigenous peoples; older adults; people with disabilities; deprived of liberty; homeless people; LGBTI+ community; and immigrant population.

It was reported that the construction methodology of the plan was participatory, and it was validated with 44 professionals, mental health agencies such as health authorities, health professionals specializing in mental health, university teachers, SEDES personnel, public administrations. , Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and civil society.

The plan has a strategic focus and at least six strategic lines: Governance and Governance; Information and Surveillance in Mental Health; Prevention and improvement in community mental health; Institutional Empowerment in Mental Health; Financial Sustainability in Mental Health; and comprehensive mental health services under the SAFCI care model.

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