Integrating mental health into the first level of care, through the primary care strategy, is more effective and less expensive than the traditional care system and may be the key to greater impact.
This is stated by the executive director of Society for Family Health (SFH), Wendy Alba, who explained that the new mental health approach excludes asylums and integrates communities into prevention and care strategies, achieving greater impacts.
He reported that SFH, the Department of Mental Health of the Ministry of Health and the National Health Service (SNS) implement the project.
The power of primary care for mental health services” in the provinces of Santo Domingo Este, Salcedo, Puerto Plata, Monte Plata and Barahona.
“What we are looking for is a model that overcomes the gaps of traditional care and that can positively change current indicators, emphasizing prevention, promotion and community participation,” said Alba.
The executive director of SFH spoke on the subject in the conversation “Mental Health and Media”, carried out together with the Circle of Journalists of Health (CIPESA), in order to bring communicators closer to the efforts promoted by the Dominican Republic to improve the indicators in that area.
He reported that as part of the project the health personnel of the centers located in the intervention areas of Santo Domingo Este have been trained, where the model of care that follows from the strategies of the current project is implemented.
“Integrating mental health into the first level of care from a community approach can change the story,” the psychologist proclaimed.
He stressed that the community approach in mental health turns its back on the old asylum concept and emphasizes the dignity of people and non-discrimination.
According to studies cited by Alba, the most frequent mental health problems in Dominican society are depression.
Anxiety and situations derived from the consumption of alcohol and substances, the social and economic situation, and the family environment.
Ms. Yris Neyda Cuevas, president of CIPESA, expressed that entity’s commitment to the major issues of the health sector, and reiterated the social vocation of its members.
The conversation was supported by the graduate Miguelina Justo, psychologist and independent consultant who addressed the resources for communication professionals in the approach to suicide, according to the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).