Global Symposium Mental Health and Substance Use: Priorities for Practice and Policy

April 28, 2017 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Columbia Global Centers | Santiago
Across the world, there is a dramatic shift in how countries are grappling with the devastating impact of substance abuse among their citizens. A public health model is replacing an enforcement and control model.
A very high proportion of people with substance use problems also suffer from other mental disorders. Stigma and discrimination against people with substance use and mental health challenges hinders their access to health services and treatment. And, billions of dollars are being lost annually due to impaired productivity of the workforce.
A specific target of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals is to strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol. This one day symposium will address the critical challenges that mental illness and substance abuse pose in the region and around the globe, bringing together thought leaders to discuss greater promotion of innovative strategies and solutions. Joined by a cross-section of international scholars, researchers, clinicians and public health advocates from around the region, we will engage in dynamic exchange prioritizing mental health policy and practice. As Latin America places increased emphasis on a public health approach, we will look at the most relevant, evidence-based thinking and recommendations for tackling the vicious cycle of inequality resulting from only 2% of the health care budget in the region being allocated to mental health.


Auditorio ‘Hugo Lumbreras,' Casa Honorio Delgado, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
Av. Armendariz 445, Miraflores - Lima 18, Peru

Co-sponsors include:

Global Mental Health Program at Columbia University Medical Center | USA
National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz | Mexico
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia | Peru
Columbia Global Centers | Brazil and Chile
in collaboration with the World Health Organization 

We will engage in dynamic exchange prioritizing mental health policy and practice with a cross-section of international scholars, researchers, clinicians and public health advocates, including:

With opening remarks by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Marina Piazza, Renato AlarcónDora BlitchteinInés Bustamante, Humberto CastilloJaime Miranda and Fabiola León Velarde (Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia); Raul González Montero (World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization); Dévora Kestel and Luis Alfonzo (Pan American Health Organization/WHO); Rubén Alvarado and Alberto Minoletti (University of Chile); Thomas F. Babor (University of Connecticut); María Elena Medina-Mora and Guilherme Borges (National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz); Julio Calzada (Intendencia de Montevideo); Francisco Cumsille (Organization of American States); Yuri Cutipé (National Mental Health Program, Peru); Federico Infante (National Commission for Development and Life without Drugs); Kathleen M. Pike, Harold PincusEzra SusserJanet Montag and Milton Wainberg (Columbia Global Mental Health Program); Vladimir Poznyakand Geoffrey M. Reed (World Health Organization)



Information and registration:

“For every dollar spent on treatment, $7 is returned in cost-savings. Treatment is proven to be cost-effective in both developed and developing countries. To incarcerate offenders for drug use and dependence is not an effective prevention or treatment strategy.” World Health Organization

Video: Ted Tokyo - Kathy Pike - Do not Call Me Crazy

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