City Hall promotes Intersectoral Seminar on Mental Health in Fortaleza

woman speaks into the microphone to an audience
The Map aims to promote greater dissemination of the importance of mental health impacts for quality of life, social well-being and performance in education and work (Photo: Thiago Gaspar)

The City Hall of Fortaleza, in partnership with the global health organization Vital Strategies and the Cactus Institute, held the Intersectoral Seminar on Mental Health this Monday (04/04). The event, which brought together secretaries, municipal technicians and partners at the Hotel Sonata de Iracema, discussed the topic of mental health in the Capital.

The seminar is part of the construction of the Mental Health Map, which will be presented, in a pioneering way in the country, in July this year. The initiative is coordinated by the Innovation Laboratory of Fortaleza, from the Science, Technology and Innovation Foundation (Citinova), in partnership with the Municipal Health, Education and Human Rights and Social Development Departments.

Mayor José Sarto celebrated the event and considered that mental health care is one of the priorities of his administration. “I have been concerned about mental health for some time, especially among young people. This seminar takes place at a time when we really need to discuss the matter, and I’m sure we’ll leave here with ideas and solutions to better take care of this area,” said the mayor.

During the event, José Sarto also announced the submission of a bill to the City Council creating new positions in the area of ​​Mental Health to summon 58 professionals, including nurses, occupational therapists, social workers and psychologists.

According to the coordinator of the Innovation Laboratory of Fortaleza (Labifor/Citinova), Taís Costa, the objective of the meeting was to share the city’s best practices and discuss the issue of mental health in an intersectoral manner. “In an innovative way, Fortaleza is dealing with this issue that is so important for the population’s quality of life. We are working in an integrated way so that the Mental Health Map brings together the most diverse data and can guide public policies in the area of ​​mental health”, says.

Pedro de Paula, executive director of Vital Strategies, emphasized that the combination of data and analysis from different areas of knowledge can amplify and improve public policies aimed at helping and promoting psychosocial health. “These data, coming from different locations and departments in Fortaleza, show us ways to act and even prevent issues related to mental health, definitively impacting people’s lives”.

Luciana Barrancos, executive manager of Instituto Cactus, commented that one of the objectives of the seminar is to propose and discuss a perspective that seeks preventive solutions to mental health problems. “It is necessary to treat the issue in a preventive way, there is no point in looking and remedying only when the problem has set in. Brazil is currently the most anxious country in the world and the most depressed in Latin America. To improve these rates, initial care must be a central issue,” she commented.

Mental Health Map

The Mental Health Map of Fortaleza will be built by crossing data and creating a base indicator, capable of verifying the most vulnerable territories related to mental health. The project will focus on children and adolescents aged 10 to 19 years. The monitoring results will be made available through an online platform containing a matrix with the monitored indicators and the composite index. The Map aims to promote greater dissemination of the importance of mental health impacts for quality of life, social well-being and performance in education and work.

About Vital Strategies

Vital Strategies is a global health organization that works with governments and civil society in 70 countries, including Brazil, to design and implement evidence-based strategies that address their most pressing public health issues. It aims to see governments adopt promising interventions at scale as quickly as possible. To learn more, go to organization website or follow Vital Strategies’ Twitter, Facebook or Instagram accounts.

About the Cactus Institute

Instituto Cactus is an independent, non-profit, philanthropic organization that works to broaden and qualify the debate on disease prevention and mental health promotion in Brazil. It encourages diverse psychosocial care projects and initiatives across the country, supporting the design and multiplication of care practices and the construction and implementation of public policies, especially targeting adolescents and women. To learn more, go to Institute website or follow the Cactus Institute’s Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram accounts.

Learn more: Sarto announces submission of a bill to create more positions in the mental health area

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