About the Commision

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have significant impacts on the mental health of people across the Region, and on mental health systems and services. In spite of its tragedy, the pandemic is an opportunity for countries to build back better and fairer using transformational approaches.

The Pan American Health Organization has established the High-level Commission on Mental Health and COVID-19 to support the Organization and its Member States in improving and strengthening mental health across the Americas, both during the pandemic and for the future.

The Commission is composed of diverse representatives from health, social and political organizations, academia, civil society, and people with lived experience. Its mission is to develop guidance and recommendations to advance mental health in the Region, which will be presented in a final report.

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COVID-19 presents an opportunity to strengthen mental health in the Americas


Washington, D.C. 28 September 2022 (PAHO/WHO) – The burden of mental health conditions has increased in the Americas due to COVID-19, and this situation has been exacerbated by social determinants of health such as poverty, high level health officials concluded during a side event at the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the mental health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere,” the PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa Etienne said at the opening of the event yesterday, Leveraging Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic to Address the Region’s Mental Health Challenges for the Future.


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