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Disasters may have major impacts to mental health and to the utilization of mental health services (MHS). Moreover, these effects may be worsened by the preclusion of access to basic services following the event. The aim of this study is to evaluate the utilization of public MHS by the population that suffered water supply interruption following the Mariana Dam Failure in Brazil, 2015.
We conducted an Interrupted Time Series analyzing secondary health data from the municipalities that faced water supply interruption, comparing it to data from the other municipalities of Minas Gerais state.
We found a higher immediate (RR: 1.78; 95% CI: 1.25–2.53) and gradual (RR: 1.05; 95% CI: 1.03–1.06) change in the rate of mental health visits (MHV) in the affected population following the event, whereas there was an immediate fall (RR: 0.41; 95% CI: 0.29–0.59) followed by a higher gradual increase (RR: 1.04; 95% CI: 1.02–1.06) in the rate of hospital admissions (HA) in the affected population.
The results suggest that there was an increase in the utilization of public MHS by the population that suffered water supply interruption following the disaster.
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