The National Psychiatry Societies of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay participated in the II WPA Zone 5 Regional Meeting within the 2016 APSA Congress, on April 27th and 28th. The meeting produced the WPA Zone 5 Statement on six areas of interest, as follows:
1) Mental Healthcare Policies: the importance of a legal framework was emphasized as well as the participation of national societies in the legislation process.
2) Professional Education and Training in Psychiatry and Mental Health: Assessing deficiencies in the system, all societies proposed to develop education and training programs.
3) Addictions: Consumption and dependence on substances and behavioral addictions are increasing as well as comorbidity, new policies to treat and prevent these pathologies were recommended.
4) Violence in Society: the alarming rate of violence in the region changes the patients profile and calls for immediate action.
5) Stigma and Discrimination: this is a burden not only for patients but also for healthcare teams, and it should be addressed by mental health authorities.
6) Conditions of Psychiatry practice: the national societies are committed to retrieve the value of comprehensive and equitable assistance.
The following day, a panel of experts exposed these issues and answered questions from the audience. This event contributed to the exchange of ideas among Mental Health professionals within the region.
Alfredo Cia (ZR) and other leaders at the WPA Zone 5 Regional meeting, April 2016.