On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, the First Lady Raquel Arbaje, the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Daniel Rivera, and the Director of the National Health Service (SNS), Dr. Mario Lama, presented on Tuesday a strategy for the expansion of the Mental Health Network.
During the event, held in the auditorium of the Museum of Modern Art, the creation of new psychosocial rehabilitation centers was announced and a campaign was presented to promote the Mental Health Line, recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a reference point for the region, which will be disseminated through the media and social networks, with the support of Ogtic and Banreservas.
Arbaje valued the progress that has been made in this area and highlighted that, under its Uniendo Voluntades initiative, it has supported the gestation and start-up of the Cuida tu Salud Contact Center, as well as the refurbishment of the Centro Hogar Ángeles Felices, of the Centro de Rehabilitación Psicosocial Padre Billini.
“We must combat the general lack of knowledge on the subject. Insist that when we talk about mental health we are not talking about diseases, but about emotional, psychological and social wellbeing, in all, absolutely all stages of our lives. That is, from childhood to old age,” said the First Lady.
Meanwhile, Minister Rivera explained that the expansion of the Mental Health Network will be composed of an addiction prevention and rehabilitation center (being planned together with the Ministry of the Interior and Police), a first aid call center, community centers, crisis intervention units, psychosocial rehabilitation centers, sheltered housing, diagnostic centers, hospitalization services, day homes and residences.
“As a first, I announce that the Inter-American Development Bank pre-approved the construction of a Psychosocial Center, with an amount of DR 55 million,” said Rivera.
The minister affirmed that all this is in compliance with the regulatory framework that governs the Health Law in the Dominican Republic, which seeks to offer services in a dignified, timely and accessible manner.
The Mental Health Network adds to the services offered in the health system, which currently has 11 crisis intervention units, 118 mental health beds, a contact center, as well as 145 psychiatrists and 737 appointed psychologists.