Background Suicide is a growing public health issue around the world. Despite its importance, few countries have established national programs to address suicide prevention. In middle-income countries, few studies focus on the factors that deter mental health care provision on suicide prevention. This qualitative study aimed to explore mental health care providers’ perceptions of barriers to suicide prevention in Mexico.
Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 mental health care providers who worked in outpatient mental health care units in Mexico City. Data were analyzed using framework analysis.
Results Three broad categories were identified: structural issues in service provision, health care services issues and social issues of the patient. Participants tough that the lack of a suicide program, mental health system fragmentation and the poor attention of the authorities to mental health hinders patient’s access to appropriate health care. Insufficient resources, service’s saturation and poor capacitation difficult opportune detection and treatment. Social problems as violence, drug use, and family disintegration are leading the patients to suicide behavior.
Conclusions Mental health issues are not a priority in the national policy agenda. The absence of a national policy to suicide prevention leads to poor resource allocation and ineffective actions to prevent suicide. Our findings suggest that suicide prevention efforts may promote intersectoral collaboration, more integrated health services, and considering social issues to achieve a comprehensive approach.