As the Region continues to struggle with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pan American Health Organization is making mental health a priority for 2022.

To support the Organization and its Member States in this endeavor, PAHO has established a strategic group of leaders and thinkers from across the Americas to form part of the Region’s “High-Level Commission on Mental Health and COVID-19.”

Objectives of the Commission:
  • To advise PAHO on appropriate institutional responses to advance mental health in the Region, to respond to the challenges resulting from and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide guidance on how PAHO might optimally engage key stakeholders including heads of state, civil society leaders and other non-state actors, in prioritizing mental health during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • To develop guidance to support PAHO Member States in strengthening their mental health approaches and policies and services to address pandemic-related mental health needs, and to build back better mental health systems in the post pandemic period.
  • To produce a Report containing key recommendations to improve Mental Health in the Americas and transform mental health systems and services in the COVID-19 post-pandemic period.


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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