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Revista da Escola de Enfermagem da USP

Print version ISSN 0080-6234On-line version ISSN 1980-220X


PEREIRA, Maria Alice Ornellas; BARBIERI, Liliane; PAULA, Virginia Praciano de  and  FRANCO, Melissa dos Santos Paschoalato. Mental health in the Family Health Program: the conceptions of community agents about mental illness. Rev. esc. enferm. USP [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.4, pp.567-572. ISSN 0080-6234.

This study identified social representations of mental illness by community agents in a Family Health Program unit. The authors chose the qualitative approach and used the case study methodology. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews, with the use of Projective and Thematic Analysis techniques. The results show social representations based on the traditional psychiatric paradigm, which considers the mentally ill as a passive person, without the necessary conditions to become the protagonist of his/her own history. This prejudice is typical of the traditional view. Therefore, the authors suggest that a substantial effort should be made to provide a better professional formation to community agents in the Family Health Program. Such an effort would propitiate improvements on practices and the construction of new knowledge in the context of community mental health assistance.

Keywords : Health personnel; Family Health Program; Mental health; Mental Health Services.

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