The Argentine Association of Child and Youth Psychiatry and Related Professions (AAPI) AND THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: Multiple activities in support of professionals and the community

Dr. Pedro Kestelman – President, Dr. Nora L. Marchena – Vice President
Dr. Bernardo Kerman – General Secretary and Dr. Eduardo R. Garín – Treasurer

The Argentine Association of Child and Youth Psychiatry and Related Professions (AAPI) has focused during the pandemic on collaboration with public entities and other institutions on a local and national level while simultaneously working on international joint projects with other Latin American countries.

The AAPI consists of almost 200 professionals, the majority of which are child and youth psychiatrists, with a few from other related disciplines. Additionally, there are 50 non-member colleagues that keep a close relationship with the association.

The APPI has conducted multiple activities using digital technologies and social media in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

1.    Support and training for professionals through:

  • Discussion forums
  • Event on problems related to children, adolescents and families during quarantine – Challenges and how to approach them (April 30)
  • Clinical Conference on Updates on Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Virtual grand rounds on clinical issues in Child and Youth Psychiatry
  • Clinical grand round on Psychiatric Manifestations in the context of COVID-19 (May 9)
  • Group professional monitoring. The role of psychopharmacology in a family. The autism spectrum patient. (May 21)
  • APSA Conference (Argentine Psychiatrists Association). Concerns and thoughts on child and youth clinic in the context of the pandemic. (June 13)
  • Early Childhood Conference. Education and clinical interchanges. (June 17)
  • OCD – An approach through telepsychiatry (August 8)
  • Permanent communication with the Pediatric Mental Health Services at Gutiérrez, Garrahan and Elizalde hospital

2.    Creation of a COVID-19 database. This included:

  • Addressing the needs of people with disabilities under treatment for COVID-19 in hospitals
  • Biosecurity protocol for domiciliary care
  • Coping with the pandemic at home
  • Undertaking long periods at home
  • Recommendations for emotional well-being
  • The importance of hugging
  • Music therapy professionals at Gutiérrez Hospital created a story-song about coronavirus.
  • Gutiérrez Hospital provided resources for children explaining what to expect if they develop the coronavirus infection
  • Coronavirus adventure
  • Educational resources issued by the National Mental Health Directorate(D.N.S.M.)
  • Distance radio workshop
  • Mental health prevention in the context of the pandemic
  • Home learning during quarantine
  • How do children feel today?
  • Your mental health is as important as your physical health
  • Are you under 18? Do you need guidance?
  • Time management behind closed doors
  • APSA-AAPI recommendations for parents and domiciliary workers
  • Tobar García Hospital’s contributions in resources for how children can cope with quarantine
  • Short story of coronavirus for young children
  • Message from the Coronavirus Committee

3.    National and international conferences

  • Settings of Mental Health in children and adolescents in Argentine provinces: Tucumán, Córdoba, Santa Fe, San Juan, Río Negro, Chubut, Chaco, La Pampa and Mendoza, among others. (June 20)
  • Latin American Conference. Mental Health in the context of the pandemic. Associations from Guatemala, Colombia, Perú, Ecuador and Argentina were involved. (July 16)
  • Mental Health Treatment Residential Facilities for children, adolescents and mothers with children- Experiences from Latin America together with professionals from Uruguay, Chile and Argentina (July 18)

4.    Activities with public entities

  • National Mental Health Directorate (Dirección Nacional de Salud Mental)
  • Advice in drafting a document on recommendations for children and adolescents during the pandemic.
  • Management to implement electronic prescriptions.
  • United Mental Health (Salud Mental Unida). Private WhatsApp group for professional networking.
    Office of Minor Protection (Ministerio Público Tutelar)
  • Counselling for families in relation to COVID-19.
  • Meeting with educators from all levels: Violence against children and adolescents. – The role of the school during the pandemic.
    National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices (ANMAT)
  • Methylphenidate prescription management

5.    Local community service

Preventive campaigns with development of content for children and adolescents together with the Pediatric Mental Health Services.

6.    Creation of work commissions

  • Competence and professional practice
  • RDoC research
  • Violence in children and adolescents. Mistreatment and abuse.

7.    Preventive spots for families

Recommendations for families have been placed on the AAPI website, Instagram and Facebook:

  • Healthy parenting
  • Limits
  • Language
  • Positive development
  • Social integration

For more information:


Multiple activities in support of professional and the community

Interchange with public entities and interinstitutional developments (local and national networking).

Joint projects with countries from Latin America (international conferences, scientific activities and clinical grand rounds).

Dr. Pedro Kestelman

Dra. Nora L. Marchena
Vice President

Dr. Bernardo Kerman
General Secretary

Dr. Eduardo R. Garín