Brazil seeks to expand psycho-social care for kids

State and city authorities may apply for financial aid

Published in 27/06/2022 - 15:06 By Alex Rodrigues - Brasília

Brazil’s Health Ministry has introduced a temporary federal policy with financial incentives for states and municipalities seeking to expand local care for children and adolescents diagnosed with anxiety or depression.

In a report published in 2021, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the Gallup Institute point out that one in seven children and young people aged 10 to 19 suffer from some kind of mental disorder worldwide.

In the same year, the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics alerted doctors and society at large to the fact that psychosocial disorders among adolescents, which had already been attracting increasing attention, became central after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes in routine caused by the health crisis are believed to cause behavioral changes such as aggressiveness, lack of concentration, abusive use of digital technology, and licit as well as illicit drugs.

Financial support

The ministerial order published today notes that the federal incentives aim to fund the expansion of access of children and youth to the public network of care for mood disorders “to tackle the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

To this end, the investment should go toward the implementation of multi-professional teams for specialized mental health care, the acquisition of equipment and expansion of outpatient units and hospitals, and the modernization of the Centers for Psychosocial Care for Children and Youth.

To apply for the incentives, municipalities and state governments must have physical space (outpatient clinics, polyclinics, and hospital units) capable of housing a multi-professional team specialized in mental health care, with at least two rooms dedicated to care for anxiety and depression in children and adolescents.

Brazil's National Health Fund will transfer the approved amounts to the health funds of municipalities, states, and the Federal District in a single installment. The use of the resources will be monitored. Any unused amounts will have to be returned to federal coffers.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Lílian Beraldo

Latest news