mental health

Mental health and building a fairer, healthier world

Today, as we celebrate World Health Day and one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we could not ignore the mental health field, it being essential for building a fairer, healthier world.

This session of Coffee with Latin America has shown us how transversal mental health is, and we have learned from high-quality projects that span across several domains:

  • Age: from children and adolescents to elderly populations in retirement
  • Place: with interventions at home, community, and health systems, and the much-needed adaptation to the new online-COVID ways of reaching out to people
  • Delivery modes: from digital health to community engagement to theatre delivered over the Internet!
  • Emphasis on social capital: including an example of engaging adults into meaningful volunteering as a mean towards healthy ageing and another project motivating engagement between patients and women’s groups to reduce stigma
  • Emphasis on meaningful connections: both with patients as well as co-design of interventions with users and policymakers
  • Focus: primary prevention, case identification, linkage to services and treatment.

I’d like to thank the speakers:

Dr Pallab Maulik, Deputy Director and Director of Research, The George Institute for Global Health India; and Associate Professor, UNSW

“This ‘Coffee with Latin America’ helped me to see people’s interest in this important subject, from Peru to China and beyond.” 

Associate Professor María Soledad Burrone, Universidad de O’Higgins, Chile; and Medical Doctor

"We developed three cooperatives. These followed a social inclusion perspective, community participation, recovery-approach and a solidarity-based economy model as a model of inclusion and to provide better support for people with severe mental disorders or young adults with autism, while reducing stigma."

Mr Francisco Diez-Canseco, Associate Investigator, CRONICAS Centre of Excellence in Chronic Diseases, Universidad Cayetano Heredia, Peru; and Psychologist

Professor Simone Pettigrew, Head, Food Policy Program, The George Institute for Global Health

“Mental ill-health causes hardship for many people around the world. This event highlighted a diverse range of interventions being developed, implemented, and evaluated.” 

This diversity of projects, study designs and settings show the value of the interactions, and the opportunity to continue learning from each other.


This news piece is written by Professor Jaime Miranda, Visiting Professorial Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health to update on the latest session in the 'Coffee with Latin America' series. You can find watch the recording of this session here, and find out more about the series here