Ministry of Health launches initiatives for mental health through SUS

The Ministry of Health launched this MondayFriday (13) initiatives aimed at caring for the mental health of Brazilians through the Unified Health System (SUS). Among them are the Life Line (196), teleconsultations to deal with the impacts caused by the covid-19 pandemic and the Care Lines to organize the care of patients with anxiety and depression. In all, more than R$ 45 million will be allocated to the shares.

The Life Line, which will serve at number 196, will welcome people and provide guidance, seeking to prevent suicide and self-mutilation. The pilot project will start in the Federal District, through a multichannel service system. The service will operate 24 hours a day, every day of the week.

The Teleconsultation Project (telepsychiatry and teletherapy) will support people who are dealing with the impacts on mental health caused by the covid-19 pandemic. Made in partnership with the Paulista Association for the Development of Medicine (SPDM), the objective is to expand care for people with mild mental disorders, through telemedicine resources. They will be made available monthly online, 12 thousand teleconsultations with psychologists and 6 thousand teleconsultations with psychiatrists. The services will be scheduled by the teams of the Basic Health Units (UBS).

The consultations will be carried out through a virtual platform that will provide the electronic medical record for the registration of the consultations and a program for the analysis of the data produced. The environment will be integrated with a scheduling center for scheduling appointments and there will be a chat for self-management of care and for digital monitoring of the user’s mental health. Teams will receive training and login access to the portal, according to the criteria defined by the Municipal and State Health Departments.

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The folder also launched the post-pandemic National Strategy for Strengthening Anxiety and Depression Care (Mood Disorders). It will work from the transfer of federal resources to the Multiprofessional Specialized Mental Health Care Teams to assist children and adolescents with anxiety and depression disorders. Teams may be linked to pre-existing outpatient clinics, polyclinics, or hospital units, as well as new outpatient units.

In another initiative are the lines of care for people with depression and people with anxiety. According to the ministry, the idea is to guide health services to focus care on patients and their needs, demonstrate care flows with safe therapeutic plans and establish the ideal “care path” for people at different levels of care in the SUS.

children and teenagers

The impacts of the pandemic related to the mental health of children and young people are also being monitored. According to the Ministry of Health, a recent review of 29 surveys concluded that symptoms of anxiety and depression among children and adolescents doubled after the start of the pandemic.

Before the health crisis, surveys suggested that depressive symptoms were common to 12.9% of this group. During the coronavirus crisis, this rate grew to 25.2%. Anxious signals, in turn, increased from 11.6% to 20.5%, and the index maintains bullish trends.