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Community Psychiatry in a Latin American Context: Perú as a Case Example


Renato Alarcon*, Horacio Vargas-Murga, July Caballero-Peralta and Yuri Cutipé-Cárdenas   Pages 1 - 8 ( 8 )


Historical and conceptual issues related to community psychiatry as an innovative approach to clinical assistance across the world, precede a more or less detailed examination of its presence, role and current accomplishments in Latin America, particularly related to child and adolescent subpopulations. Information about transition processes from the traditional hospital-centered model to the community-based approach, applicable mental health policies, levels of implementation and quality of the available reports in different countries, are duly evaluated. The situation in Perú, a country considered representative of the Low and Middle Income (LMIC) group in the subcontinent, is studied, with particular emphasis on a recently established community-based mental health centers program across its territory. Encouraging results about personal, family and identity empowerment, focus on integrated care, clinical outcomes and community relations, need to be carefully followed-up to avoid extremes of rigidity and reductionisms. Adolescents represent the unique future of socio-culturally diverse Latin American countries, and must be the target population of well-conceived, cohesive community mental health policies and programs.


Community psychiatry, mental health policies, adolescence, identity, Latin America.


Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, School of Medicine, Universidad Peruana, School of Medicine, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, School of Medicine, Graduate School Faculty member, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Mental Health Division, Ministry of Health, Lima

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