Zone 3 Report

Zone 3: Mexico, Central America and The Caribbean

Information about the main activities done during 2003 and 2004

One of the main tasks and worries is the situation that Psychiatry keeps in the Mexico, Central America and Caribbean zone. Thus we decided to do a research (with collaboration from distinguished psychiatrists in the zone) about the situation Psychiatry keeps according to The Public Health Administration. The presentation was done in the International Congress of the WPA in Florence, Italy. The main and outstanding points of reference among the countries in the zone are:

  1. All of the countries have residence for forming General Psychiatrists. Only Mexico, Costa Rica and Cuba have residence for Childhood and Adolescence Psychiatry.
  2. In the last fifteen years, an international interchange of clinical, academic, and some research experiences has been increased through meetings organized under auspices of the WPA and APAL.
  3. In the Caribbean , only Cuba, Dominican Republic and Barbados are members of the WPA.
  4. Most of the Psychiatrists from the zone are formed in their own countries. Only between 10% and 7% are formed in the USA, Spain, and France mainly.
  5. It has been reported a lack of abilities from first contact physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders.
  6. Cuba has the biggest community net of mental health services in the zone.
  7. According to CEPAL and the World Bank, economical conditions from inequity and inequality rebound in the development of mental health programs in dispossessed zones. Only in the big cities, resources and development of mental health programs are concentrated.
  8. There are geopolitical problems in common such as in the case of the migratory processes among our countries and the USA, with their respective negative consequences in the familiar disintegration and transculturation.
  9. Sociopolitical problems, in some countries of the zone, have influenced the development of the communities, and thus in the development of well-being programs that rebound in the population’s mental health.
  10. There is a lack of interchange of experiences in the researching and teaching programs among the countries of the zone.
  11. Insufficient implantation of mental health programs in the dispossessed and rural zones.
  12. Epidemiology of the region is only based on isolated surveys or registrations generally derived from the mental health services in the different localities, which is only a partial reflection of the reality in mental health of the zone.
  13. In the countries of the zone there are systematized registration documents of some mental disorders such as suicide, drug dependence among other isolated pathologies. Recently, the National Inquiry of Mental Health was done in Mexico. It has been included a very important group of pathologies that are referred in the ICD-10.
  14. In most of the countries of the zone, there is a lack of enough infrastructure for personal and financial resources for the development, evaluation, and monitoring of their respective mental health programs.
It was established a communication net by internet to diffuse the academic and scientific activities in the zone, and it has been growing day by day.
This WPA bulletin is sent regularly. Thus the society magazine in all of the zone, has favored to hold the communication among the psychiatrists.

There is a project to elaborate the electronic bulletin of the WPA Zone 3 .

It has been a contribution to the structure and development of “Schizophrenia Consensus: “Use and Utility of anti-psychotic medication of second generation in Latin-America” directed and promoted by Dr. Edgar Belford . The coordinator from WPA 3 Zone is co-editor of this publication. It has been published in November, 2004.

On the other hand, in these last years there has been a contribution of promotion and organization for academic and scientific programs for improving the knowledge and treatment of mental disorders that are and have been public health problems in our zone.

The courses and congress that have been organized from the coordination of zone 3 in Mexico from the year 2003 to 2004 are:
  • XVIII National Congress “Mental Health: Challenges and Perspectives”
    WPA National Symposium and Regional Meeting Mexico-Central America from the APAL (Latin-American Psychiatric Association)
    12-15 September 2003
    Monterrey, Nuevo León, México

  • Consensus of Schizophrenia from the WPA and APAL
    National Forum of Schizophrenia from the APM and Scientific Academic Meeting from the Schizophrenia Clinic from the Psychiatric Hospital “Fray Bernardino Alvarez”
    17-20 March 2004
    Guanajuato, México

  • Regional Meeting Northwestern APM and linking with WPA
    3-5 June 2004
    San Carlos, Sonora, México

  • Regional Meeting Vice presidency Central Zone APM and linking with WPA
    Psychiatry: “Commitment and Science”
    30 October-1 November 04
    Ixtapa , Zihuatanejo , México

  • Next Year we are having a National Meeting from the APM a Regional Reunion from the WPA
    30 October-2 November 2005
    Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, México

Dr. Enrique Camarena
WPA Zonal Representative for
Mexico, Central America and The Caribbean




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