Mental health and suicide prevention – What can be done to increase access to mental health services in my region?


(Tiago Bandeira, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Geovana Correia Nery, a sophomore medical student at the Centro Universitario de Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos of Brasilia, Brasilia. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

According to the World Health Organization, health consists of physical, mental and social well-being, not just lack of illness or ephemerality, and includes external factors such as diet, education, work, housing, income and access to health services. Given this fact, Primary Care plays an essential role in the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders in the community, subjectively, since the mental health of each patient is of individual importance, and therefore becomes a multifactorial and complex process to diagnose. in consultation.

Mental health includes attention to people with needs related to mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and people with harmful use and dependence on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, cocaine, crack and Other drugs. At the same time, the main risk factors for suicide depend on age, and in adolescence include a history of adoption, homosexuality, bisexuality or the questioning of sexual orientation, history of sexual abuse, bullying, depression and other psychiatric disorders, postoperative stress. trauma, substance abuse and pathological internet and adult use, unemployment, depression, substance abuse and income.

In this sense, suicide often appears as a way of deliverance for the individual who does not receive the necessary attention and treatment, becoming a public health problem, as it is the 2nd cause of death among young people aged 15 to 29 years. that from 2000 to 2015, in Brazil, there were 11,947 deaths from intentional self-harm in individuals aged 10-19 years. This represents 8.25% of all suicide deaths in all age groups in the period. Most (85.32%) of suicides in the age group studied occurred in adolescents aged 15-19 years. In addition, the highest annual suicide rates occur in Eastern Europe, where 10 countries have reported more than 27 suicides per 100,000 people and Latin America and Muslim countries have the lowest rates, less than 6.5 per 100,000, and in Brazil the highest rates are in Rio Grande do Sul.

Therefore, the agreement of mental health care with suicide prevention can be seen, since the two are completed when one has access to the main government agencies. Thus, the media could disclose the Psychosocial Care Networks (RAPS), which comprise the main area of ​​mental health care, being the main care provided by CAPs (Psychosocial Care Centers) where the user receives care close to the family with multiprofessional assistance and therapeutic care according to each patient’s health condition, especially when thinking about suicide. In addition, the Multiprofessional Mental Health Outpatient Clinics are composed of psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist, speech therapist, nurse, who together try to help patients through consultations.


Martins, L. D. S. G. (2018). Perfil epidemiológico das intoxicações por agrotóxicos relacionadas às tentativas de suicídios no Paraná, de 2007 a 2016.

Gaino, L. V., Souza, J., Cirineu, C. T., & Tulimosky, T. D. (2018). Conceito O conceito de saúde mental para profissionais de saúde. SMAD Revista Eletrônica Saúde Mental Álcool e Drogas (Edição em Português)14(2), 108-116.

Cicogna, J. I. R., Hillesheim, D., & Hallal, A. L. D. L. C. (2019). Mortalidade por suicídio de adolescentes no Brasil: tendência temporal de crescimento entre 2000 e 2015. Jornal Brasileiro de Psiquiatria68(1), 1-7.

About the author

Geovana Correia Nery, I am a sophomore medical student at the Centro Universitario de Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos of Brasilia, Brasilia. A person interested in current epidemiological aspects and I like to know new places and cultures mainly around the world. I am a member of IFMSA Brazil and I help to promote social actions, besides, I participate in the Atletica of the Faculty, acting in the sport Handball and the Battery as a way of integration, besides I am a member of Academic Leagues.


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