The Public Defender’s Office of Paraíba held, this Monday (25), a public hearing to discuss the functioning of the psychosocial care network (Raps) in João Pessoa. The event took place on the campus of the Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB), in the state capital.
Some commitments were made during the hearing, such as the resumption of the Working Group (GT), with the presence of the João Pessoa Municipal Health Department; and training in human rights for employees who work at Raps.
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The event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, the National Health Council, the Municipal Health Secretariat (SMS), the UFPB, the Public Ministry of Paraíba (MPPB), the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), collectives in defense of Raps and users.
Among the demands presented, the president of the Raps Users Association, José Carlos Alves da Silva (Juruna), requested that the municipal management include a free pass for users to travel from their homes to the care centers on its agenda. “We lost Caps David Capistrano, at Rangel, and it was sad for us users. Many here cannot travel from their homes to Caps”, he pointed out.
The Public Defender’s Office, represented by Madalena Abrantes and Fernanda Peres, creators of the hearing with Raps, stressed the importance of dialogue and recognizing failures in all instances.
“With dialogue, we can walk together. It is important that we recognize each other’s weaknesses in order to move forward. Therefore, we believe that with everyone’s collaboration it is possible to act to resolve problems and offer a service that is up to the task of all users ”, highlighted the public defender, Fernanda Peres.
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Collectives and entities in defense of Raps
Professor at UFPB, Ludmila Cerqueira represented the collective of entities in defense of Raps and read a text on behalf of all members where she demanded a participatory agenda from the Secretary of Mental Health of João Pessoa and the functioning of Caps services in their entirety with coverage of resolute, effective and multidisciplinary care.
“It is worth noting that there were many attempts at dialogue, whether with the Department of Health or the Municipal Health Council, from April this year to now, but they did not bear fruit, mainly due to the disregard for a mental health agenda that was participatory , as had already been proposed that month in the special session held by the City Council, in which the Secretariat did not participate nor justify its absence, and the same occurred in the special session held this month by the Legislative Assembly of Paraíba with the same theme” , pointed out the teacher.
Still regarding the completeness of Caps services, she questioned “It is not enough to have four Caps under municipal management in operation if they are not equipped with human and financial resources, inputs and practices appropriate to comprehensive care; if the epidemiological and other indicators to choose your location in the territory. What about the only two existing SRTs, which were not even authorized by the Ministry of Health, and which are not aligned with the guidelines of the national mental health policy?”.
Ludmila listed some suggestions proposed by collectives and entities in defense of Raps to be guided and included in the agenda of the Municipal Health Department of João Pessoa:
1 – the creation of a space for institutional dialogue, such as the Mental Health Working Group (2019/2020), with representations of the bodies responsible for planning, management, monitoring and social control of mental health actions in João Pessoa;
2 – the creation of a public mental health agenda in João Pessoa, with the establishment of priorities for the qualification of existing services and the implementation of those that do not yet exist, as provided for in the Municipal Health Plan for the four-year period 2022-2025 of the Municipal Secretariat of Health of João Pessoa (like the beds in general hospitals and other Caps and SRTs, notably the SRT to accommodate those released from the Forensic Psychiatry Penitentiary of Paraíba);
3 – the periodic publication of the budget foreseen for the mental health policy and its execution, including resources coming from the Ministry of Health and those arising from the deactivation of psychiatric beds (as occurred with the Institute of Psychiatry of Paraíba);
4 – the creation of a Mental Health Commission at the João Pessoa Municipal Health Council to deal with issues related to Raps within the scope of its attributions, including monitoring the aforementioned Municipal Health Plan for the four-year period 2022-2025, as regards refers to mental health actions, services and resources;
5 – holding a public competition for a career in management and public health assistance, with vacancies for the mental health area, considering the need for qualified workers for the services that make up Raps, especially Caps, SRTs.
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The Municipal Secretariat of João Pessoa was represented by the director of health care in the capital of Paraíba, Aline Grisi, who stated that the current management is open to dialogue. “We listened to all the demands presented here, both from professionals and users, whether critical or not, they came to add value. So, as a representative of SMS, I assure you that we will try to do our best,” she said.
Ministry of Health
The general coordinator of Standards, Studies and Projects of the Department of Mental Health of the Ministry of Health, João Mendes de Lima Júnior, participated in the hearing, where he gave a brief overview of the national mental health policy, reinforcing the anti-asylum commitment. “As a representative of the MS, I guarantee that every effort will be made to rebuild João Pessoa’s mental health policy”, he highlighted.
He also made a positive assessment of the discussions and said that this was the moment to plant a seed for a transformation that should take place from now on.
“I leave here knowing that we found a very challenging photograph, but I also leave with the expectation that this conversation provoked the urgency of the commitment to transform João Pessoa’s mental health”, he pointed out.
For the member of the Mental Health Commission of the National Health Council, Shirlene Queiroz, the event represented a milestone for João Pessoa’s mental health policy.
“I am very grateful to the Public Defender’s Office for being able to gather so many statements from so many different places and produce a dialogue towards the mental health policy that we defend. On behalf of the CNS Intersectoral Mental Health Commission (Cism), I feel honored by the invitation and I make myself available to contribute to other measures, which, I believe, will be very useful”, she said.
The MPF’s chief prosecutor, José Guilherme Ferraz da Costa, also participated in the hearing; the president of the Regional Psychology Council in Paraíba, Alcira Cavalcante; the SES Mental Health coordinator, Iaciara Mendes; and the MPF prosecutor, Janaina Andrade. Also with the defender of the Special Health Center, Audaci Soares Pimentel; the general ombudsman of DPE-PB, Ceu Palmeira; by Renata da Câmara Pires Belmont, representing the president of the Court of Justice of Paraíba, judge João Benedito; by Leonardo Pereira de Assis, representing the MPPB attorney general, Antônio Hortêncio Rocha; and councilor Marcos Henriques, representing the João Pessoa City Council.
*With information from the DPE/PB Advisory.
Source: BdF Paraíba
Editing: Cida Alves