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December 2013
WPA Zone 4 (Northern South America)

On February 22 and 23 took place an educa tive activity of the Secretary for Education of the WPA in Guayaquil, Ecuador. This activ ity included the visit to the Neurosciences Institute of the Junta de Beneficencia de Guayaquil, a local welfare and nonprofit in stitution that manages four big hospitals and other social and educative services that ben efit poor people. During this visit, they partici pated in an open forum focused on the fight against stigma and discrimination of the men tal health patient with medical staff, patients and community members. This activity was led by Profs. Pedro Ruiz and Edgard Belford, President and Secretary for Education of the WPA, respectively, with the participation of Profs. Enrique Camarena, Silvia Gaviria and Fabrizio Delgado, past president of the Latin American Psychiatric Association, member of the WPA Section on Women’s Mental Health, and Northern South America WPA Zonal Representative, respectively. This fo rum was a sound and successful activity that had substantial impact in this country, since it was widely covered and widespread by lo cal media. It will certainly be an asset in local efforts on the inclusion of mental patients in the community.

In this regard, WPA members had the op portunity to witness the improvements ac complished and the amelioration of practice standards and physical infrastructure for the treatment of the acute mental patients in the psychiatric hospital of the Institute, with a strong emphasis on family and patient psy choeducation, psychotherapeutic and occu pational therapies and recreational activities, and a successful sociofamilial reinsertion program as well as an assisted residential pro gram for the chronic institutionalized inpa tients that had permitted them to exit its asilar structure and returned to a new life in the community, in a supervised home program for many of them. This successful program began six years ago and permitted the return to their families in the community of aproximately 600 institutionalized patients.

Fabrizio Delgado

WPA Zonal Representative for Zone 4 (Northern South America)

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