Paper promises: Peruvian frontline health workers’ perspectives on mental health policies during COVID-19

Nikol Mayo-Puchoc, Jenny Bejarano-Carranza, Rubí Paredes-Angeles, Ana Lucía Vilela-Estrada, Jackeline García-Serna, Noelia Cusihuaman-Lope, David Villarreal-Zegarra, Victoria Cavero, Sara Ardila-Gómez

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Governments globally deployed various non-pharmacological public health measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. lockdowns and suspension of transportation, amongst others); some of these measures had an influence on society’s mental health. Specific mental health policies were therefore implemented to mitigate the potential mental health impact of the pandemic. We aimed to explore the implementation of mental health regulations adopted by the Peruvian health system by focusing on the care services at Community Mental Health Centres (CMHCs), based on the experiences of health workers. We conducted a phenomenological qualitative study to understand the implementation of mental health policies launched in Peru during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data were obtained from a document review of 15 national policy measures implemented during the pandemic (March 2020 to September 2021), and 20 interviews with health workers from CMHCs (September 2021 to February 2022). The analysis was conducted using thematic content analysis. Most implemented policies adapted CMHC care services to a virtual modality during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, various challenges and barriers were evidenced in the process, which prevented effective adaptation of services. Workers perceived that ineffective telemedicine use was attributed to a gap in access to technology at the CMHCs and also by users, ranging from limited access to technological devices to a lack of technological skills. Further, although mental health promotion and prevention policies targeting the community were proposed, CMHC staff reported temporary interruption of these services during the first wave. The disparity between what is stated in the regulations and the experiences of health workers is evident. Policies that focus on mental health need to provide practical and flexible methods taking into consideration both the needs of CMHCs and socio-cultural characteristics that may affect their implementation.

Idioma originalInglés estadounidense
Páginas (desde-hasta)II3-II13
PublicaciónHealth Policy and Planning
EstadoIndizado - 1 nov. 2023
Publicado de forma externa

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