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To analyze the status of mental health research in 30 Latin American and Caribbean countries (LAC).Medline and PsycInfo databases were searched to identify the LAC authors. Their publications were classified according to the topic, type of research and target population studied. Scientific indicators of these countries were assessed in other two different databases: Essential Scientific Information and Atlas of Science Project, both from Institute for Scientific Information.Indexed-publications were concentrated in six countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. Most studies dealt with the burdensome mental disorders but neglected important topics such as violence and other mental health priorities.Mental health research is mostly concentrated in a few LAC countries, but these countries would contribute to reduce the research gap, if they provide research training to their neighbors and engage in bi- or multi-lateral research collaboration on common region priorities.