August 8, 2020

A fifth of the Dominican population suffers from some mental disorder

The Ministry of Public Health (MSP) of the Dominican Republic said Wednesday that a fifth of the country's population suffers from some type of mental disorder and that depression affects about 470,000 people.

The information was released by the Minister of Health, Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas, at the launch of the campaign "The power of Primary Care for Mental Health services in the Dominican Republic", developed against high rates of this type of disorders nationwide.

"For the whole society to change the model of human relationship that it contains, that discriminates, that isolates, that moves away, that dehumanizes, we have to launch this campaign," said the minister in a press conference outside the MSP.

According to the statistics of the entity, the projections indicate that no less than 20% of the Dominican population suffers from some mental disorder, and that depression affects about 470,000 people, regardless of age range, sex, religion or socio-social status. economical

"Depression is everywhere, let's look around and we will see many people with permanent mood changes," said Sanchez Cárdenas, who said that cases increase with the proximity of Christmas holidays.

In 2018, in the Dominican Republic some 648 people committed suicide. In addition, there were 2,348 hospital admissions for some psychiatric disorder and about 200,000 outpatient consultation services were registered.

"This campaign … seeks to raise awareness, move the hearts of Dominicans in the direction of offering protection so that 600 or 700 more Dominicans do not fall into suicide," said the minister.

The initiative also seeks to reduce the high number of hospitalizations per year as a result of depression but, above all, to help those who are the majority and do not even get admitted, the official said.

The medical doctor also said that the mentality in health must be changed and the mental health component integrated into the concept of well-being, since many of the physical conditions that affect the population begin with mental health disorders.

Sánchez Cádenas pointed out that society is usually aimed at paying attention to the ailments of the body, but neglects the ailments of the soul, leaving mental health services as "a sometimes marginal medicine."

"You cannot humanize health services if the provider does not impregnate, in some way, a soul full of positive feelings of affection, love, rapprochement," said the minister.

In the world, some 322 million people suffer from depression, the most frequent mental disorder and the second cause of disability; In addition, 264 million suffer from anxiety disorders, 21 million have schizophrenia, 60 million are diagnosed with bipolar disorder and 47 million suffer from dementia.

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