Gloria Córdoba, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Sol Durand, National Institute of Psychiatry, Mexico

On the 25th of February, Gloria and Sol organised a Symposium with a focus on mental health in primary care, which took place at the University of Copenhagen. The symposium was attended by students and health professionals, who exchanged their knowledge and experiences regarding mental primary care.

The purpose of the symposium was to broaden the vision of mental health care and the need of collaborative work across sectors, with special focus on strengthening primary mental health care. Hence, the program included the presentation of different initiatives implemented in primary health care across different countries to discuss the challenges and opportunities to establish multidisciplinary health professional teams for the timely recognition, treatment and follow-up of patients with mental disorders.

The first presentation was an introduction to the health and mental health structure in Mexico, providing a context on the interest to hear and implement these interventions within the Mexican health system. The second part was dedicated to the Danish experience with collaborative care through the COLLABRI model, showing also some transectoral challenges of implementation. The third part was dedicated to an intervention done in Italy with the co-presence of a family doctor and a psychologist in the management of patients with psychosocial and functional somatic symptom disorders. To wrap up, there was a presentation regarding the international collaboration of the World Organization of General Practitioners/Family Doctors – WONCA working party on mental health in primary care.

In summary, strengthening primary mental health care requires multi-sectoral partnerships engaging actors beyond the health care system and promoting collaboration, training, active communication and supervision between different health care professionals (e.g., psychiatrists, general practitioners and nurses).