07 | DIC | 2019
Mexico ignores mental health
Depression and anxiety are common illnesses in Mexico - Photo: Yadin Xolalpa/EL UNIVERSAL

Mexico ignores mental health

11/09/2019
09:14
Mexico City
Editorial
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Every day, Mexico registers at least 17 suicides

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When people talk about the health of the Mexican population, they always make references to physical health but never to mental health, although it should have the same importance.

In Mexico, the most serious consequences of mental health are the high number of suicides registered. According to the INEGI, in 2016, there were 17 suicides every day, which represents a rate of 5.1 suicides for every 100,000 inhabitants, nevertheless, there are states that register twice as many suicides in contrast with the national average. Chihuahua and Yucatán register the highest number of suicides in the country, with 11.4 and 10.2 suicides for every 100,000 inhabitants.

Today, EL UNIVERSAL revealed that in Chihuahua, one person commits suicide every day. The prevention programs launched haven't been successful. Experts recognize that identifying and treating people with depression, who are susceptible to having suicidal thoughts, is complicated unless the patient acknowledges their situation, asks for help, or a family member helps them.

Throughout the country, 96% of suicides are attributed to mental illnesses, nevertheless, only 2% of the health budget is allocated to mental health.

Potential suicidal behavior is characterized by changes in school performance, no socializing, lack of expression, changes in the physical appearance, as well as suicidal thoughts.

Despite being easy to diagnose, there is a lack of mental health experts to treat these illnesses in Mexico. There are only 4,600 psychiatrists, 60% of them are in Mexico City, the state of Mexico, Jalisco, and Nuevo León. Nevertheless, Mexico needs at least 12,000 psychiatrists.

Furthermore, suicides affect a large part of the youth as the majority of cases take place in people between 15 and 24 years. Yesterday, it was revealed that an 18-year-old called for a massive suicide at a high school through social media; according to psychological studies, then teenager suffers depression.

A country with good mental health ha slow suicide rates but it also can reduce violence, a phenomenon that has besieged Mexico in recent years. Nevertheless, there is a notorious disinterests in regards to mental health.
 

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