From mental health to suicide: the interruption of this chain reaction by prevention

depressed man

(Alex Iby, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Emilly Cardinalli, a 20 years old undergraduate student of Medicine at Universidade Potiguar in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. 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.


In Rio Grande do Norte, a state of Brazil, according to the data from Coordination of Statistical Information and Criminal Analysis (in portuguese, Coordenadoria de Informações Estatísticas e Análises Criminais – COINE) ¹, in the first four months of 2019, 99 suicide attempts were registered in Natal city.

Given this scenario, it is understood that’s necessary to facilitate the access of individuals to care. Much is said about the prevention of diseases in society, such as diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure. However, little is known about the prevention of psychiatric illness. So, what happens is a chain reaction: the individual goes from a healthy mental state to a time of conflict that translates into an organic disease and, by not receiving the basic health care and proper treatment, finds the solution to his pain in suicide. This is a result of the lack of primary to quaternary prevention.

The question that guides the challenge is: “What can be done to increase the access to health services in the region?”. For the answer, it is valid to rely on strategies that already exists today in Brazil, such as the Family Health Strategy (Estratégia de Saúde da Família – ESF), which aims to promote the quality of life of Brazilian population². This program is multiprofessional, involving the Community Health Agents (Agentes Comunitários da Saúde – ACS), which establish the link between the family and the neighborhood health center, through direct contact with population’s residence, where will have health promotion and the identification of diseases and its risk factors.

To stop the chain reaction, a system is needed to reach the individuals who are in the different moments of this process. Thus, through the relationships established between the parts, the ACSs, after being properly trained to detect and approach mental problems, will be able to act in the various aspects of prevention. In primary prevention, evaluate the presence of triggering factors for psychic problems (such as family conflicts). In secondary prevention, to identify individuals who are already experiencing psychological hazards, in order to guide them to medical and psychological care, where they will be properly assisted and treated. With the aim to intervene in complications of the disease and rehabilitate the patient, comes the tertiary prevention.

Finally, it is also up to the physician to perform quaternary prevention, in order to perform the correct management of the patient, to avoid iatrogenesis. Therefore, it is clear that what should be done is to interrupt the chain reaction that leads a healthy individual to disease and then to suicide.

Thus, the strategy aims at the performance of trained professionals at each stage of the reaction, looking for maintaining a good mental state and the proper management of those who are sick, to give them a better quality of life, so that they do not seek in death the solution that a coherent and engaged health strategy can offer.

References

  1. RAFAEL BARBOSA (Rio Grande do Norte) (Org.). Dezenove pessoas cometeram suicídio em Natal neste ano, diz Secretaria de Segurança: Relatório. 2019. Disponível em:<https://g1.globo.com/rn/rio-grande-do-norte/noticia/2019/05/22/dezenove-pessoas-cometeram-suicidio-em-natal-neste-ano-diz-secretaria-de-seguranca.ghtml>. Acesso em: 24 out. 2019.
  2. Ministério da Saúde. Política Nacional da Atenção Básica. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde, 2017. (Série E. Legislação em Saúde).

About the author

Emilly Cardinalli is a 20 years old undergraduate student of Medicine at Universidade Potiguar in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. She is a member of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations of Brazil (IFMSA Brazil) and has been working at IFMSA Brazil's in the Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) since 2018. She loves to help people and really believes that the knowledge and love can change lives.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

FROM THE FIELD: ‘A piece of me’ was taken

Companies ‘failing’ to address offline harm incited by online hate: UN expert

Facilitating the access to finance and risk capital for SMEs and midcaps

Easing US-China trade tensions could save millions of jobs: Asia-Pacific UN report

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

The Netherlands is paying people to cycle to work

10 of Albert Einstein’s best quotes

More bank bailouts at taxpayers’ expenses

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Health is nothing but the main consequence of climate change

Two peacekeepers killed in an attack against UN convoy in Mali

More, not less, multilateralism is needed to fight the coronavirus pandemic

The decline of our oceans is accelerating, but it’s not too late to stop it

3 ways blockchain can accelerate sustainable development

The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming

Why do medical students seek for work abroad?

Why are the financial markets shivering again?

COVID-19 is more deadly for some ethnic groups

Why Europe is more competitive than the US

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

UN underscores the need to celebrate indigenous peoples, not confine them

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

Parliament to vote on new European Commission on 27 November

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

MEPs want to fund crucial areas to stimulate European growth

Discrimination in the medical curriculum: are medical schools providing students with equal access to the medical profession?

As Marvel’s first comic book fetches $1.26 million, here are five things to know about the superhero business

EU4FairWork: Commission launches campaign to tackle undeclared work

3 reasons why AI won’t replace human translators… yet

OECD economic scenarios to 2060 illustrate the long-run benefits of structural reforms

European Defence Fund on track with €525 million for Eurodrone and other joint research and industrial projects

UN rights office calls for action to end ‘repression and retaliation’ in crisis-torn Nicaragua

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

Greek-Turkish border: MEPs reject Turkey’s pressure, demand common asylum rules

How to turn a traditional business into a platform-based success

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ford trumpets new in-vehicle system, “fundamentally rethinks” transportation

China-EU Relations: Broader, Higher and Stronger

Monday’s Daily Brief: global homicide figures, neo-Nazi recruitment, Kashmir, and migrants’ plight in USA

World ‘not yet on track’ to ensure children a better future: UN rights chief

EU approves close to €240 million to strengthen resilience in neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees in light of the coronavirus pandemic

Why medical students decide to study abroad?

Humanitarian migration falls while labour and family migration rises

Here’s how to achieve an optimal student/tutor ratio

Plastic Oceans: MEPs back EU ban on polluting throwaway plastics by 2021

“America first” policy goes against EU-US partnership, say MEPs

The planet’s health is our health: why healthcare must go green

How do we build trust between humans and AI?

At this Italian bookshop, children swap their recycling for something to read

Posting of workers: final vote on equal pay and working conditions

Cambodia loses duty-free access to the EU market over human rights concerns

This is where obesity places the biggest burden on healthcare

Statistics show the ugly face of youth training schemes

Vaccination: European Commission and World Health Organization join forces to promote the benefits of vaccines

Cameron readies to support ‘yes’ for Britain in the EU

New Zealand Prime Minister opens door to 4-day working week

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

3.7 million lives could be saved by 2025 if health services ramp up nutrition actions: WHO

How to create a world where healthcare is a right, not a luxury

Closing VAT loopholes for sales through online platforms

This massive project in Spain is the latest milestone in Europe’s solar power boom

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s