The Ministry of Public Health (MSP), with the aim of regulating and optimizing the General Mental Health Law of the Dominican Republic, kicked off this Thursday the “Training Workshop on Mental Health Legislation and human rights of persons with mental health disorders and psychosocial, intellectual and cognitive disabilities”.
The training, carried out with the support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), seeks the promotion, formulation, implementation and review of the legislative and regulatory frameworks related to mental health and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and other human rights instruments in favor of Law 12-06.
The workshop, held in face-to-face mode, began with a ceremony headed by Dr. Eladio Pérez, Vice Minister of Collective Health; Alejandro Uribe, Director of Mental Health of the MSP, and Carmen Martínez Viciana, PAHO/WHO Regional Advisor on Mental Health for Central America and the Caribbean.
The activity will be held on the 12th and 13th of this month, and will be directed to members of the following institutions: Psychiatric Society, Dominican College of Psychologists, Dominican Medical College, National Health Service, Alzheimer’s Society, Chamber of Deputies, the Ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs, Labor, Housing and Women’s Affairs, Human Rights Ombudsman, General Directorate of Migration, Medical Societies, Social Policy Cabinets, among others.
Dr. Eladio Perez stated that mental health is a right of all people, regardless of their social, economic or spiritual condition. “That is why we decided to bring together a group of public and private institutions linked to the health sector, and others that work directly with entities, which are responsible for guaranteeing the enjoyment of this universal right.”
He emphasized that national laws are a crucial tool for establishing a legal framework that supports the internationally recognized right to health and guarantees access to the best possible level of health for all. “These laws define the boundaries, responsibilities and obligations of both States and other stakeholders.”
She explained that this leads to taking up a project that pursues the updating of the national mental health law.
Dr. Carmen Martinez also described this step as crucial to recognize people with mental health conditions as “holders of fundamental rights and to put an end to the erroneous conception of asylum centers, with respectful, person-centered, rehabilitative and community-based treatment”.
He emphasized that every individual facing a mental illness has the inherent right to receive medical care and social services adapted to their needs, just like any person with a physical condition.
Dr. Alejandro Uribe said that the General Mental Health Law 12-06 seeks to offer services of the highest quality, respecting human rights at all times, and that its objective is also to promote prevention, care and rehabilitation of those affected.
The activity was attended by different collaborators of the MSP and special guests.