Present the methodology for comprehensive evaluation of the implementation of the Mental Health Global Action Programme (mhGAP) in Chile and describe the program’s results.
Cross-sectional evaluative study based on a survey of key program informants deployed in 29 public health services in the country, as well as individual interviews and focus groups with key actors and experts. The evaluation was focused on the relevance and impact of mhGAP on the provision of mental health services and on the implementation of the program.
The participants gave a positive evaluation of the progressive implementation of mhGAP in Chile. In particular: 1) They reported having better tools for detecting, diagnosing, and treating common disorders, and efficient referral strategies; (2) They rated all modules as important, the most relevant being self-harm/suicide (x¯ = 4.77) and mental and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents (x¯ = 4.58); (3) They favorably assessed the National Mental Health Day training courses and the subsequent courses repeated at the local level, indicating that these courses contributed to successful implementation of mhGAP; (4) They agreed on the need to incorporate new actors, strengthen certain aspects, and expand information on the program.
The implementation of mhGAP in Chile is an emblematic example of learning supported by the development of community mental health and family health, among other factors. These accomplishments offer a unique opportunity to continue advancing the implementation of this program in the country and to implement this experience in other contexts in Latin America and the Caribbean.