According to the article “Grave el cuadro de salud mental en Puerto Rico” by Benajamín Torres Gotay, published in the newspaper El Nuevo Día on January 16, 2017, mental health problems in Puerto Rico are bigger than what was imagined.

According to an epidemiologic study by the “Instituto de Investigaciones de Ciencias de la Conducta del Recinto de Ciencias Médicas de la Universidad de Puerto Rico”, around 165,497 people (7.3% of the population) suffer from severe mental health conditions. This study was requested by “Administración de Servicios de Salud Mental y Contra la Adicción (ASSMCA)” as a tool in order to justify the designation of federal funds.  This study is also the first one made in 31 years since the last one made on 1985.

The epidemiologic study showed that people in Puerto Rico suffer from severe mental health, emotional and conduct conditions, a lot of them without receiving treatment or without being diagnosed. According to the study, form the 165,497 people who suffer from some mental health condition in Puerto Rico, the 36.1% has not received specialized treatment in the last year.

As part of the study, concerns were expressed regarding how services to these patients have been affected since the offices and programs that provide them services are confronting fiscal insufficiencies and how the mental health of these patients have been affected by the socioeconomic situation that the country is going through. Uncertainty in the workplace, quality of life and economic problems that the country is going through are situations that contribute greatly to the deterioration of people’s mental health. It also expresses concerns regarding one the limit imposed by healthcare plans of sessions with psychologists that a person with mental health conditions have.

To read the complete article, see the following link