Refugee is unaware of access to SUS, says Ministry of Justice – News

O Ministry of Justice and Public Security launched this Thursday (26) the publication “Assistance in Mental Health and Psychosocial Care to the Migrant and Refugee Population in Brazil: the support network of civil society”.

Read also: Reports show a portrait of refugees in Brazil in 2020

The document highlights the lack of knowledge about the gratuity of the SUS (Unified Health System) by a significant part of refugees and immigrants, and the ways to access it, as it differs from the system in your country of origin or habitual residence. The right to public health in Brazil is universal, and therefore applies to people from other countries, regardless of their migratory status.

Also read: See the full report on refugee assistance

“For this reason, it is essential to expand the dissemination of this information so that the refugee and migrant public may be aware of these rights, as well as the Brazilians themselves, in order to reduce the difficulties for effective access to services”, says the ministry in a note.

The main nationalities attended by the organizations that participated in the survey are: Venezuelan, Haitian, Colombian, Cuban, Angolan, Senegalese and Peruvian.

Through the General Coordination of the National Committee for Refugees, the mapping is carried out in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with the objective of providing subsidies for the development of actions, training and policies to improve reception in Mental Health and Psychosocial Care.

The study was built from a survey conducted in 21 states (except Amapá, Pará, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Sergipe and Tocantins), with 53 institutions that, among other services, provide mental health care, in the five regions of Brazil , enabling access to different realities experienced by migrants and refugees in national territory.

“From this mapping, we began to better understand the needs of organizations that take care of the mental health of this population in the country. In this way, it is possible to think of more effective public policies that can contribute to the well-being and integration of these people in Brazilian society”, says the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anderson Torres.

Most organizations, 46 of them, work with children, and 36 of them with people with some kind of disability. Referrals to other services are largely made to the SUS (Unified Health System).

The articulation with the public network is carried out by the organizations through meetings, seminars, promotion of training on migration, monitoring of cases, among other actions. In the referrals, the clinic-schools or popular clinics of public and private universities also stood out.

The mapping has already started to be used to improve actions aimed at the theme. This is the case of the Mental Health and Psychosocial Care Course in immigration and refuge, which began in July and runs until September this year. The training, aimed at health professionals who work in civil society organizations, aims to strengthen and qualify the psychosocial care of migrants and refugees living in Brazil.

The initiative is a partnership between the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the International Organization for Migration, and the Research Center Contact between Cultures, Immigration, Mental Health and Interculturality at Unifesp (Federal University of São Paulo).

The publication is part of the Sustainable Resettlement and Complementary Roads Initiative, funded by the governments of Portugal and the United States of America. Click here to see the complete report.