President Piñera announces publication of new Mental Health Protection Law: “The fight against mental health illnesses, particularly during this pandemic, is essential to the very soul of our country”
The President highlighted that 174,000 consultations have been carried out through the Saludable-Mente (healthy mind) program since its implementation in 2020 and underscored the development of a new special mental health plan (Plan Especial de Salud Mental), focused on healthcare personnel, who have made such an extraordinary effort during the pandemic.
The President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, announced the publication of the new Mental Health Protection Law this Tuesday, highlighting the development of a new special mental health plan for healthcare personnel.
During the activity, the President also spent time with a group of practitioners and users of the Saludable-Mente (healthy mind) program, an integral wellbeing and mental health plan associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, which focuses on providing guidance and immediate and urgent actions to contain problems. Since its launch, the plan has remotely attended to more than 174,000 people.
“Today, as the Government, we want to emphasize our commitment to doing everything we can to efficiently combating the mental health problems that are affecting our fellow Chileans, using all the tools that science puts at our disposal,” said the President. He was accompanied by Health Minister Enrique Paris, Public Health Undersecretary Paula Daza and Healthcare Networks Undersecretary Alberto Dougnac.
The provisions of the new Mental Health Law include establishing rights and defining protective frameworks for people who need mental health treatment, in particular with respect to any inpatient treatments that they may need.
Regarding the Saludable-Mente (healthy mind) program, which was implemented in 2020 to provide remote emotional support to people as a result of the pandemic, the Government reported that it already has 104 professionals qualified to attend patients and that it hopes to have 120 by the end of May.
“The fight against mental health illnesses, particularly during this pandemic, is essential to the very soul of our country. This has been demonstrated by the smiles of those people who, having lived through the darkness of depression and anguish are able to see the sunlight again,” the President stressed.
Speaking about the plan to address the mental health of healthcare personnel, the President explained that over a billion pesos (around US$1.4 million) have been earmarked for its implementation and that it will cover all personnel, independent of their contractual status and administrative unit, including municipal primary care and health services.
“The Saludable-Mente services have been very important and have made a positive difference to the mental health of the Chilean people,” President Sebastián Piñera concluded.