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Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 0103-7331On-line version ISSN 1809-4481


HONORATO, Carlos Eduardo de Moraes  and  PINHEIRO, Roseni. The work of the mental health professional in a deinstitutionalization process . Physis [online]. 2008, vol.18, n.2, pp.361-380. ISSN 0103-7331.

The article presents part of a research work carried out in 2006 on the work of mental health professionals who assist dwellers of residential care homes in the city of Carmo, State of Rio de Janeiro. These residences integrate the process of deinstitutionalization of a state Psychiatry Hospital, an agricultural colony, established in the 1940's, with about 280 inpatients. From 2003 on, when the hospital was closed by the state manager, and resources were municipalized, a small part of inpatients returned to their families, but the majority (153) were placed in care homes, scattered over country or urban district areas. Taking the task of social inclusiveness as the political bias of Brazilian Psychiatric Reform, the daily work of the multi-professional team is focused. In this relational work level, we chose the ergologic approach as a conceptual framework to analyze the work processes. It is a step in a process, still half way between state and municipal administration, where the proposal is sustained by the administrators' political will, and, in becoming hegemonic, must be discussed among professionals and the civil society. The landscape is not homogeneous, and the dynamics reveal the various understandings and interests. This article discusses how professionals work with civil society, being their goal the change of the mentally ill social status. The daily experience of the professionals who work closer to the residents, as the caretakers, produces a "technique" of listening and stimulation, which by no means admits unchangeable or pre-established rules.

Keywords : Deinstitutionalization; residential care homes; political work; integrality; Psychiatric Reform.

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