Hearing (other) voices: what futures fo mental health in Portugal? 

June 9, 2021, 16h00 (GMT +01:00)

Online event


In this last year and a half, consequence of the worldwide public health crisis, mental health and the demand for well-being have been in the spotlight. The results of the Portuguese study Mental Health in Times of Pandemic (SM-COVID19)[1] indicate that about a quarter of the participants presented moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress. These data are in line with those from other peer international studies, confirming that the profound changes in everyday life have had impacts on mental health and well-being, particularly for people on the frontline of the pandemic response.

However, these issues did not arise with the pandemic. The results of the National Epidemiological Mental Health Study - 1st report (2013)[2], the first to assess the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders in a representative sample of the adult population, showed that the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in Portugal was very high.

Within this general panorama, there are individuals and groups who have only seen their difficulties worsened by the COVID-19 crisis, with a greater lack of protection of their human rights. Their struggles for recognition and dignity, the constant clashes with bureaucracies and poor cultural competences on the part of various institutions, the social and economic pressures, and their experience in creating solidarity networks of peers and emergency funds, demanding answers from political decision-makers, go back a long way. Thus, in this roundtable we listen carefully to voices that are under-represented in the discussion and implementation of mental health policies and we explore together other facets from the discourses and reflections of these groups, so often left aside when addressing the issue. This roundtable wants to contribute to a critical and experience-centred reflection, focusing attention on people and associations who know and experience what is urgent to discuss and change for a more inclusive mental health policy.

This roundtable is part of “Hearing Voices”, a Marionet project in partnership with the Hearing Voices Movement – Portugal, the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra and Aurora Radio, from the Júlio de Matos Hospital, under the scope of the Art and Mental Health Programme, of the Directorate-General for the Arts.

Speakers: Allan Barbosa (Queer Tropical), Celina Vilas-Boas (Hearing Voices Movement - Portugal), Maria (Sex Workers Movement), Rita Joana Pinheiro Maia (National Association of Informal Caregivers), Shenia Karlsson (Black Women's Institute in Portugal) | Moderator: Rita Alcaire (CES).

This activity is part of the CES Summer School  Rekindling civic imagination for social change Programme
1] Coordinated by the Health Promotion and Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention Department of the Doctor Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute, in collaboration with the Environmental Health Institute of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon and the Portuguese Society of Psychiatry and Mental Health.

2] National Epidemiological Study on Mental Health -- 1st report available HERE


This activity will be accessible through the Zoom platform and will be limited to number of available places:
ID: 833 3455 6266 | Password: 082425

We appreciate that all participants keep the microphone muted until the moment(s) of debate. The host of the session reserves the right to expel the participant who does not respect the rules of the room.

Online open access activities such as this one do not grant a declaration of participation since such document will only be provided in events that provide for prior registration and controlled access.