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Anxious and depressed women's experiences of emotional suffering and help seeking in a Rio de Janeiro favela

Experiências de mulheres ansiosas e deprimidas sobre sofrimento emocional e busca de cuidado em uma favela do Rio de Janeiro

Karen Athié Christopher Dowrick Alice Lopes do Amaral Menezes Luanda Cruz Ana Cristina Lima Pedro Gabriel Godinho Delgado Cesar Favoretto Sandra Fortes About the authors


Taking into consideration issues such as stigma and the mental health gap, this study explores narratives of anxious and depressed women treated in a community-based primary care service in a Rio de Janeiro favela about their suffering and care. We analysed 13 in-depth interviews using questions from Kadam's study. Framework analysis studied Access, Gateway, Trust, Psychosocial Issues, and Primary Mental Health Care, as key-concepts. Vulnerability and accessibility were the theoretical references. Thematic analysis found “suffering category”, highlighting family and community problems, and “help seeking category”, indicating how these women have coped with their emotional problems and addressed their needs through health services, community resources and self-help. Women's language patterns indicated links between implicit social rules and constraints to talk about suffering, especially if related to local violence. High medical turnover and overload are barriers for establishing a positive relationship with family physicians and continuity of care is a facilitator that promotes trust, security and adherence. Concluding, to plan community-based primary mental health care of this population, cultural and social factors must be comprehended as well as the work health teams conditions.

Key words
Mental health; Primary care; Depression; Anxiety; Access

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