Crying for Argentina

Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images
Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

After Argentina’s sad loss in yesterday’s World Cup finale, you might be wondering, “is Lionel Messi going to be OK?” Honestly, only time travelers actually know the answer to that question. But fortunately for the nearly 42 million Argentines the country has a fairly unique mental health care system.

In 2010, Argentina reformed its mental health care system to focus on a community based service approach and to integrate mental health services into the primary care setting. The Mental Health Act prohibits the creation of new psychiatric asylums and brings addiction into treatment. According to the Argentine Independent “The new law also demands that 10% of the overall health budget be allocated to mental health. For the year 2013, this would mean the equivalent of $1.27bn, a much needed push in the right direction for this typically money deprived sector. Financing in mental health has been earmarked for economic subsidies for community organisations, financing for entrepreneurs in the area of social solidarity, community education projects, equipping of health centre networks and services, grants for individuals during the social and labour re-insertion process, as well as training for interdisciplinary teams working on a service network based in communities.”

So, while it may be a sad day for Argentina, the country has a recent focus on mental health and I think they’ll be OK.


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