The National Health Service (SNS), through its Department of Mental Health, held this Saturday the First National Mental Health Congress in the Dominican Republic, with the aim of publicizing the guidelines and improvement plans that are implemented in the centers of the Public Network for the provision of these services.
More than 600 professionals from the area participated in the meeting, including psychiatrists, psychologists and nursing staff from hospitals that offer mental health care services to their users.
The executive director of the SNS, Dr. Mario Lama, highlighted the importance of this initiative, which seeks to promote the good actions launched by the Department of Mental Health, only two years after its creation.
“We are working to strengthen the mental health services that we offer in the centers of the Public Network, to provide the humanized and quality care that the population demands in this area of medicine,” he emphasized.
Meanwhile, the person in charge of Mental Health of the SNS, Dr. Francis Báez, explained that the purpose of the Congress is to present a complete panorama of mental health in the country.
“It is the first event we have held to present an analysis of the statistics, incidents and impact of mental health and the improvement plans we have implemented, to offer patients more affordable care,” said the specialist.
Likewise, she valued the effort made by the health personnel, which is evidenced in the actions, with a view to continuing to make it more efficient. “We are all protagonists of mental health, psychiatrists, psychologists and nursing staff of the SNS,” said Báez.
The Congress addressed the topics of Juvenile Infarction, Use and Abuse of Substances, Crisis Intervention Units, Mental Health and Liaison Medicine, Outpatient Mental Health and Suicide.
During the participation of the External Mental Health Consultation, statistics appeared from the Villa Altagracia Municipal, Yaguate Municipal and Tomasina Valdez Municipal hospitals, where in the 2020-2021 period the number of patients assisted in psychiatry was 6,105 and in psychology a total of 3,280.
In the Infant and Youth area, more than 15,000 patients in this age group have received mental health care at the Public Network health centers, from September 2021 to 2022.
Regarding the issue of suicide, about 700 people each year, between the ages of 20 and 24, commit the act, being three times higher among men than women.
In outpatient visits, the most frequent diagnoses in psychology are behavioral, learning, stress, sleep, couple and family conflicts. In the area of psychiatry, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia spectrum and intellectual disability are diagnosed more frequently.
Dr. Báez informed that with the results obtained in the presentation of the statistics, a report will be made to send to the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MISPAS) and work in coordination, the implementation of new public mental health policies in the country. .
Also participating in the activity were representatives of the Ministry of Health, the Dominican Society of Psychiatry, the Dominican Association of Psychologists, the National Directorate for Children and Adolescents of the Attorney General’s Office, the National Drug Council, the Comprehensive Care Center for Children, and Adolescents in the consumption of Psychoactive Substances (CAINNACSP) and the Center for Comprehensive Care for Dependencies (CAIDEP), among other entities.