About the closure of psychiatric hospitals in Mexico

On May 16, a reform of the Public Health Act on Mental Health and Addiction was published, which states, among other things, that no more hospitals specializing in psychiatry should be built and that existing hospitals would become public hospitals.

As a result of this epidemic, the demand for mental health care has increased by about 30%. According to the National Institute of Psychiatry, the true cost of the epidemic will be estimated in the long run due to the deterioration of socio-economic conditions as a result of informality and unemployment, which will lead to the deterioration of the mental health of the population.

Like many other public health situations, mental health care requires all three levels of medical care, especially when it comes to mental disorders that are considered serious, for when it becomes necessary to have infrastructure, equipment, and above all, specialized medical staff and not only trained in Providing diagnoses and handling medications properly, among other factors.

One of the biggest challenges facing psychiatric patients is medication adherence, which is largely dependent on support networks, especially families, who play an important role in the care and containment of sick and sick patients. However, assigning the responsibility for taking care of these conditions to family members presents a greater burden on the unpaid work primarily done by women, not to mention the high costs of medicines, which, incidentally, are not covered by private health insurance. covers.

In addition, in a large number of cases, family contexts are complex, violent and even stigmatizing, in which the shared responsibility of the state plays an essential role so that patients do not fall into a homeless situation or social abandonment or, rather, are deprived of and deprived of their liberty.

Given the paucity of information on mental health and social stigma on this topic, it is realistic that many more people with serious problems of this type, without adequate medical care, arrive before imprisonment than in a mental health care institution. Without early detection, good medicine, and specialized medical care, prisons will, on many occasions, remain a destination for the unquestionable, that is, those who do not have the capacity to fully understand the consequences of their actions.

From OCUPA, we believe that a clear and structured pathway is essential, which allows voluntary admission to psychiatric hospitals with an adequate budget that allows patients to receive an adequate level of care, even if they do not have a family or no one in their support network You can or decide to take over.

It is urgent that the National Human Rights Commission fulfill its mission to prevent this setback from being abandoned. Remains ten days to exercise its constitutional authority and to rule the closure of psychiatric hospitals before the nation’s High Court of Justice, as said reform goes against the advancement of the right to health, places an excessive burden on care families – especially women – and increases the risk that people in this state will live in the streets or in prison.

* Silvana Carranza Navarro is the Community Action Coordinator at OCUPA AC (trabajo_mx).

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