“I went to the health unit and the doctor sent me here”: process of medicationalization and (non)resolution of mental healthcare within primary care

Indara Cavalcante Bezerra Maria Salete Bessa Jorge Ana Paula Soares Gondim Leilson Lira de Lima Mardênia Gomes Ferreira Vasconcelos About the authors

This investigation sought to understand how mental healthcare is being produced within primary healthcare, from the experiences of professionals, users and family members, picked up through semi-structured interviews. The information obtained was categorized according to features observed in effecting the interface between primary care and mental health, described as: medicationalization of mental health problems presented by the population; difficulties among users of Psychosocial Care Centers (PCCs) in accessing Family Health Units; and mental healthcare training for primary care professionals. The process of medicationalization goes beyond the professionals’ practice and forms the main demand of PCCs users. This process indicates the need for action towards demedicalization, and this is boosted through incorporation of new relationships and social dynamics in this field, greater coordination of the teams and stimulation of social participation by the community in this process.

Mental health; Primary healthcare; Medicalization; Problem solving


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