The Senate approved today (15) a bill (PL) establishing the National Policy for Psychosocial Care in School Communities. The policy provides for actions by the Government to guarantee the provision of psychosocial care services to the school community. The idea is to help students with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, among other ailments.
The project provides for the development of promotion, prevention and psychosocial care actions within the schools, as well as greater integration of the school community with the primary health care teams in the territory where the school is located.
In the justification, the author of the project, Senator Alessandro Vieira (Citizenship-SE), recalled that childhood and adolescence are periods of great transformations and vulnerability for the development of mental health problems. And this period requires special attention, with the creation of welcoming spaces and a support network aimed at the development of the mental health of this population.
In addition, Vieira presented a report with data collected by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) on the impact of the pandemic on children.
According to the survey, 56% of adults said that a teenager in the household had one or more symptoms related to mental health during the pandemic: sudden mood swings and irritability (29%); sleep disturbance, such as insomnia or excessive sleep (28%); decreased interest in routine activities (28%); exaggerated worries about the future (26%); and changes in appetite (25%).
The rapporteur of the matter, Senator Veneziano Vital do Rêgo (MDB-PB), recalled that even before the pandemic, the school community already had episodes in “alarming” rates of bullyingdepression, anxiety, suicide, self-harm, image disorder, attention deficit and pervasive personality disorders.
The rapporteur also cited psychological problems in teachers, which should not be ignored. “Also among education professionals, the pre-pandemic history and analyzes during the pandemic show a vulnerable social segment with a high demand for psychosocial care.”
It recognizes the existence of the Health at School Program, which includes, among other health actions, the psychosocial assessment of students. But for Vital do Rêgo, the policy proposed in the project, which aims to focus on psychosocial care, will bring “a more comprehensive approach to mental health and social well-being for the entire school community.”
The project is now for analysis by the Chamber of Deputies.