"It is clear to everyone that in the face of a greater awareness of mental health problems we need more professionals in this area and psychologists are needed. There is a commitment from the Government with guaranteed funding in the PRR to expand the structures that treat mental health," said Manuel Pizarro.

The Minister of Health was invited to comment on the study of the Health Regulatory Authority (ERS) on known mental health on Sunday.

Público reported that the ERS, through the study on access to mental health services in Primary Health Care, concluded that the number of psychologists in Primary Health Care (CSP) is "far below" what was defined as the ideal ratio for the country, in a 2021 resolution of the Assembly of the Republic.

This study concluded that there should be one psychologist per five thousand inhabitants, or 20 per 100 thousand. The data compiled by the ERS, for 100, put the national average at 3.16 per 100 thousand inhabitants.

"This is a study on 2020 and from 2020 to 2023 many things have happened in terms of hiring psychologists in the SNS [National Health Service]. Finally, the competition that had begun in 2018 was finally completed and allowed 40 new psychologists to enter Health Centres and in the context of the pandemic a very significant number of contracts was made," said Manuel Pizarro.

The minister also highlighted the hiring of 1,000 psychologists for schools and spoke of the creation of 20 new community mental health teams.

"Ten of them are already in operation, five will be created this year and five the year after. This work will gradually improve the response in this matter", he concluded.