Dainius pŪras Promotes mental heaLTH LEGISLATION IN CHILE – November 2023

On 30 November 2023 Dainius Pūras, Professor at Vilnius University and former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, gave a keynote address at an International Seminar on ‘‘Mental Health and Legislation in Chile: Global lessons and Experiences’. The seminar took place at the University of Chile and was organised by the Ministry of Health of Chile and Inter-American Development Bank.

Photo of  Dainius Pũras, speaking at International Seminar on 'Mental Health and Legislation in Chile', University of Chile
Photo: Dainius Pūras, University of Chile

The convening focused on facilitating a space for discussion, reflection and learning about experiences in mental health legislative processes, together with nationally and internationally renowned experts in the field.

Welcome speeches were given by Minister of Health, Dr Ximena Aguilera and María Florencia Attademo-Hirt, IDB Representative in Chile.

Dainius’s keynote address considered the importance of comprehensive mental health legislation to improving public mental healthcare in Chile and called for the collaboration of the various stakeholders in this process, including organized civil society, experiential experts, formally trained experts, and parliamentarians to promote the progress of the legislation.

Other speakers included an address by the Undersecretary of Public Health, Andrea Albagli, Dévora Kestel of WHO and panellists from international mental health organisations and representatives from Chile’s executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.

During Dainius’s time in Chile, he also met with officials from the Ministry of Health, contacts from the School of Public Health, University of Chile and the Movement for Rights in Mental Health to discuss progress towards the introduction of mental health legislation.