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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


CAMPOS, Rosana Onocko et al. Mental health in primary care: an evaluative study in a large Brazilian city. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2011, vol.16, n.12, pp.4643-4652. ISSN 1678-4561.

Primary Healthcare (PHC) is internationally acknowledged to be responsible for dealing with most community health problems, including mental health issues. The scope of this work was to evaluate the links between primary care and mental health in areas of high social vulnerability in a large Brazilian city (Campinas, State of São Paulo) using parameters defined in this study. Evaluative and participative - mainly qualitative - research, was conducted. Two groups were defined by cluster technique: one group of Basic Health Units with a higher degree of innovative strategies and another with a lower level of innovation, and the two were then compared. Matrix support was observed as a powerful tool to define workflows, to qualify the teams and to promote joint and shared care. The strategic role of community health agents was seen to identify potential benefits and listen more closely to the population's needs. Health promotion practices are not consolidated as yet. When innovative strategies take the professionals into extra-mural activities, users acknowledge and occupy new spaces, with actions that are different from the traditional complaint-behavior model.

Keywords : Mental health; Public health; Family Health Program; Unified health system.

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