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Cadernos Saúde Coletiva

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MINOLETTI, Alberto; ROJAS, Graciela  and  HORVITZ-LENNON, Marcela. Mental health in primary care in Chile: lessons for Latin America. Cad. saúde colet. [online]. 2012, vol.20, n.4, pp.440-447. ISSN 1414-462X.

This article described the integration of mental health into primary care services in Chile over the past 20 years and analyzed the results of a few evaluations. The purpose was to contribute to the processes of learning how to reduce mental health care gaps throughout Latin America. The return to democracy after the Military Dictatorship and the Caracas Declaration were contributing factors to the integration, as were the high development of the Chilean primary care system and the development of national mental health plans that included primary care services as a central element. The political will of integration should also include the assignment of additional funds for mental health, within the primary care system. Another critical factor for mental health in primary care is the generation of mechanisms for coordination and support between secondary and primary care professionals. The article emphasized that available indicators show that Chile has successfully made mental health a central component of primary care services, possibly for the long term, but there are many remaining questions that require further studies.

Keywords : mental health services; primary health care; mental health; psychiatry.

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