La Grenade, Janet A.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry
Integrated primary mental health care
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
Mental health is increasingly being recognized as contributing significantly to the burden of disease, particularly now that the indicators have shifted from measures of mortality to measures of morbidity. Psychiatric morbidity in the community, based on community surveys, is estimated at 20 to 30% of the population. Increasingly, patients needing mental health services prefer to be in a general health care setting than in specialized centres. Internationally and regionally, the general policy has been to move toward the development of comprehensive mental health programmes integrated within primary health care. This integration may be structural (use of shared facilities), administrative (shared administrative resources) or functional (complete integration of clinical services, with staff jointly responsible for patient welfare). This paper examines how this integration can be achieved, and the potential role of the Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, University of the West Indies in advancing this integrative process through research and training.....