Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X
ONOCKO-CAMPOS, Rosana Teresa and FURTADO, Juarez Pereira. Public health and mental health: methodological tools to evaluate the Brazilian Network of Referral Centers for Psycho-Social Care (CAPS) in the Brazilian Unified Health System. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.22, n.5, pp.1053-1062. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2006000500018.
This article presents a preliminary discussion of potential methodological tools for qualitative research on the Network of Referral Centers for Psycho-Social Care (CAPS) in the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS). The relevance of mental health within the field of public health is examined. The study focuses on the high prevalence of mental disorders and the disproportionate lack of studies on the interface between mental health and public health. The establishment of an interdisciplinary field between public health and mental health is proposed to meet common needs by achieving similar perspectives in knowledge and practice. A particular group of tools is proposed, emphasizing the importance of reclaiming and guaranteeing the roles of various social actors to shape the assessment process, the need for collecting and standardizing academic studies on the topic, and the importance of promoting a new research field focusing on public health policies to support policymakers, managers, and health teams in reshaping their practices.
Keywords : Mental Health; Mental Health Services; Services Evaluation.