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DIMENSTEIN, Magda et al. Demanda em saúde mental em unidades de saúde da família. Mental [online]. 2005, vol.3, n.5, pp. 23-41. ISSN 1679-4427.

Primary health care in the basic health units has become the ideal space for mental health interventions. We conducted an investigation of the mental health individuals that reside in the North Zone district in Natal. The criteria to identify the participants were: that they made use of psychotropic medication and that they had been released from a psychiatric hospital. Among other aspects, we observed that there is a repressed demand for mental health services, as evidenced by the high percentage of users that did not have professional follow-up in the primary care service units; high, constant, sometimes chronic use of benzodiazepinic agents, with no systematic control by the health team; lack of demand for alternative services such as the CAPS; the high number of cases of mental health problems in families and of psychiatric hospitalizations, sometimes involuntary.

Keywords : Saúde mental; Serviço público de saúde; Atenção primária à saúde; Programa de Saúde da Família - PSF; Psicotrópico.

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