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Ho Chi Minh City pilots depression emergency support service

Ho Chi Minh City pilots depression emergency support service

Saturday, July 23, 2022, 09:27 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City pilots depression emergency support service
This image shows a doctor giving consultancy to a patient with signs of mental illness at Ho Chi Minh City Mental Hospital. Photo: T. Duong / Tuoi Tre

The Department of Health of Ho Chi Minh City, in southern Vietnam, has launched the out-of-hospital depression emergency assistance service on a trial basis to strengthen mental health care for citizens.

The service will be run by the 115 Emergency Center and the municipal Mental Hospital, the department said.

Depression emergency services are necessary as people with depression, especially severe cases, may seek ways to kill themselves, and they should be cared by specialized emergency teams, which help identify signs of depression and provide proper therapies, according to the agency.

Under the model, service users can call 115 or 19001267 to the said emergency center or the hospital, respectively, for help when detecting severe depression signs in people from their families, workplaces or communities.

After receiving such a call, the medical staff on duty will ask some screening questions and refer the case to the emergency team, which will immediately come to the scene to meet patients and take them to the hospital for treatment.

When the patients’ conditions get better, they will be sent back home for continued care as outpatients.

This new service will be reviewed monthly or at any time, if necessary, for assessment and improvement, the department said.

To ensure the service quality, the department will deploy a program to enhance the medical facilities’ capability in mental problem examination and treatment.

The department will also set up an emergency mental health support network, train mental specialists for relevant health units, and provide consultancy on nutrition, physical exercises and modern and traditional therapies necessary for mental patients.

Currently, the department has three medical networks that offer healthcare and treatment services for mental patients, including the first line consisting of eight hospitals, the second line of psychiatric clinics in districts and Thu Duc City, and the last covering health stations in wards, communes and towns.

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Vinh Tho - Thu Hien / Tuoi Tre News

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