Port of Spain, 13-14 November. - A two-day workshop was held in Trinidad with the aim of agreeing upon a compendium of basic mental health indicators viable for countries in the Caribbean. Mental Health representatives from Anguilla, Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands were present. PAHO´s Regional Office was represented by Claudina Cayetano, Regional Advisor on Mental Health, Jorge Rodriguez, PAHO consultant and former Chief of the Mental Health and Substance Use Unit, and Amy Tausch, mental health consultant. Ian Walker, global mental health consultant at the British state agency Public Health England, also participated.
On day one, countries presented their mental health data collection and reporting methods as well as local barriers at the national level. Dr. Cayetano presented the global and regional mental health plans of action, and Dr. Rodriguez introduced the group to a compendium of fourteen basic mental health indicators developed during a similar workshop in Central America. On day two, participants worked in groups to answer questions on the feasibility and current state of data collection for each indicator in their respective countries. The meeting concluded with the entire group finalizing the compendium of indicators and outlining concrete actions for follow-up.
PAHO will support the meeting’s participants in incorporating the agreed upon indicators into their countries’ mental health data collection and reporting processes. Additionally, PAHO intends to replicate this meeting in South America, with the aim of developing a compendium of standardized mental health indicators for the Subregion.