Did you know that Panama has a new Mental Health Law?
Through Law 364 of February 6, 2023, the human right to mental health is developed, and its national coverage is guaranteed.
This Law aims to develop the human right to mental health and guarantee its coverage and attention at the national level through the promotion, prevention, and treatment of mental illnesses.
Its main objectives are:
- To protect people’s mental health and well-being.
- Guarantee respect for the dignity of people with mental illnesses.
- Guarantee access to quality services for mental health care.
- Ensure non-discrimination of people with mental health conditions.
- Prevent mental health conditions.
- Reduce suicide rates.
- Reduce stigma and prejudice related to mental health.
- Incorporate a human rights perspective in mental health care.
Relevant points of the Law:
- The State shall provide free public mental health care services to anyone requiring mental health treatment.
- Insurance companies may not discriminate against people with mental health conditions when contracting a life or health insurance policy.
- Private health centers providing care for people with mental, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental conditions may not refuse to provide psychological and medical assistance to persons experiencing a mental health crisis.
- Public and private educational institutions of all academic levels, governmental organizations, and public entities shall plan and carry out educational programs that promote mental well-being, prevention of mental deterioration, and awareness of people with mental health problems and in the process of rehabilitation, especially in the case of children and teenagers.
The Executive Branch shall regulate the Law in a period not exceeding six months, counted from its enactment.