Telemental health care in times of psychological instability: call 188

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Victor Araújo Rabelo and Mr. João Pedro Cadore, two 22 years old fourth year medical students at UniCesumar, Brazil. They are 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 writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Until recently, care for mental illnesses was centered in psychiatric hospitals, with inpatient conduct and heavy drug treatment. However, this process has been constantly modified and the bond with patients is growing. In this deconstruction process, the care policy for psychiatric illnesses, the decrease in hospital admissions and the creation of other services that replace psychiatric hospitals have a central role.¹

Thereby, several alternatives were created. One is the Telemedicine, a popular information and communication system to provide and support distant healthcare services, of which mental care is a major domain. In addition to breaking barriers such as distance, it provides them with easy access to modern and efficient health services and reliable diagnosis, as well as being economical.²

The current pandemic situation generated by COVID-19 has a direct impact on society as a whole, negatively affecting health, mainly mental health. In order to prove support in that context, there is the brazillian service of emotional support and suicide prevention – Center of Valuation of Life (“Centro de Valorização à Vida” in Portuguese).³

This Center uses a very simple strategy to assist people who have a psychological illnesses and needs emotional support: just call 188 or start a chat to get psychological support through hundreds of volunteers spread throughout Brazil. The Center of Apreciation of Life is available 24 hours a day and has voluntary attendants willing to talk without criticizing, offering affection, attention and host, ensuring anonymity and confidentiality.³

Most people with depression or other psychiatric disorders are ashamed to expose themselves for fear of judgment and this ends up making the situation worse4. Therefore, with the confidentiality of the service, there is a guarantee that the person can have total openness to speak with a volunteer. And to become a volunteer, the way is very simple, you just have to be over 18 years old, 4 hours a week, take a free training course – which can be personally at some center or online – and a lot of desire to help5.

In alternative to the Center of Valuation of Life, there is the Mobile Emergency Medical Services (“Serviço de Atendimento Móvel de Urgência” in Portuguese). It is an emergency response service. Thus, patients who need immediate care have the possibility to use this service. The way to use it is similar to the Center, that is, by phone number 192.6

In times of pandemic, where mental health is so shaken, being a volunteer means a lot, and the process is beneficial bilaterally, since the volunteer also goes through a process of self-knowledge. With this, we reaffirm the premise that it is essential to guarantee protection from psychological diseases in all months of the year, and not only in the yellow September.


  • Karla Viana Costa. “Mental health: A public health challenge”. Cited in 2020 July 23. Available from:
  • Langarizadeh M, Tabatabaei MS, Tavakol K, Naghipour M, Rostami A, Moghbeli F. Telemental Health Care, an Effective Alternative to Conventional Mental Care: a Systematic Review. Acta Inform Med. 2017;25(4):240-246. doi:10.5455/aim.2017.25.240-246.

About the authors

Victor Araújo Rabelo is a 22 years old fourth year medical student at UniCesumar, Brazil. He is working as Local Communication and Marketing Director at IFMSA Brazil UniCesumar and Minicourses Coordinator of the Miguel Nicolelis Academic Center. Moreover, He is a member of the Intensive Care League, Surgery League and Medical Clinic League.

João Pedro Cadore is a 22 years old fourth year medical student at UniCesumar, Brazil. He is a monitor of clinical skills discipline and member of Surgery and Pneumology League.

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

At Arab League Summit, Guterres reaffirms strong link between UN and people of Arab world

Mixed news about the Eurozone economy

Climate change update: consistent global actions urgently needed as we are running out of time

How fungi could save the world

Fostering defence innovation through the European Defence Fund

Only a few months away from the single European patent space

EU Banks still get subsidies from impoverished citizens

UN gender agency hails record-breaking number of women in new US Congress as ‘historic victory’

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission decides to register 2 new initiatives

Germany resists Macron’s plan for closer and more cohesive Eurozone; Paris and Berlin at odds

General Data Protection Regulation shows results, but work needs to continue

How water scarcity triggers the refugee crisis – and what tech can do to solve it

Globalization 4.0 must build a better world for working people

3 trends that will transform the energy industry

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Launch of CREWS, climate risk & early warning systems

AI can help us unlock the world’s most complex operating system – the human body

Anti-vaccine sentiment one of 10 biggest health threats, says WHO

UN agency chiefs condemn Saudi-coalition led air strike that killed dozens in western Yemen

The EU can afford to invest trillions in support of employment

European Energy Union: Integration of markets and need for in-house energy production

Asia-Pacific ‘regional parliament’ underway to advance equality, empowerment, for more than four billion citizens

Commission to decide on bank resolution issues

Mental health and suicide prevention: the contradictory access in a reference city of southern Brazil

How building renovations can speed up the electric vehicle revolution

UN chief urges ‘maximum restraint’ following policy shift over northeastern Syria

A young student discusses the determinants of migration in the European Union

Corruption undermines democracy and contributes to instability, warns senior UN anti-crime official

These EU countries have the most government debt

Mali: Presidential elections critical to consolidate democracy, says UN peacekeeping chief

104 countries have laws that prevent women from working in some jobs

Will Qualcomm avoid Broadcom’s hostile takeover post the 1 bn euro EU antitrust fine?

Time to say goodbye to the plastic straw. But what’s the best alternative?

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

UN agencies welcome regional road map to help integrate ‘continuing exodus of Venezuelans’

ECB’s first flight in Eurozone’s banking universe will be just a reconnaissance

European Citizens’ Initiative: Commission registers ‘End the Cage Age’ initiative

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about to hit the construction industry. Here’s how it can thrive

Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances

New volunteering programme for young people in Europe and beyond agreed

Lifting the lid on policy decisions across Africa

Venezuela, Poland and Sudan amongst 14 new Human Rights Council members

The European Youth raises their voices this week in Brussels at Yo!Fest 2015

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

First EU collective redress mechanism to protect consumers

UN ‘comes together in sadness and solidarity’ to honour staff who died on board Ethiopian Airlines flight

COVID19 Pandemic: The Mental Health of Colored Chicks

Assembly President launches new initiative to purge plastics and purify oceans

Spending another 3 billion euros on Turkey feels better than admitting EU’s failure

EU security and defence industry prepares positions for ‘producers’ and ‘customers’

Impact Investment needs global standards and better measurement

New phenomena in the EU labour market

LGBTQ+: The invisible poor on our healthcare

Kors and Nyong’o: Food, fashion and film join forces at UN, for the world’s hungry

Youth unemployment: think out of the box

Team Europe: EU provides €100 million to Mozambique for education, health and social protection

EU Citizenship Report: empowering citizens and protecting their rights

EU leaders let tax-evaders untouched

COVID-19 highlights how caregiving fuels gender inequality

UN heath agency: Time is now to ‘act as one’ in fighting infectious coronavirus

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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