Accessing Mental Health Services in Puerto Rico

Accessing Mental Health Services in Puerto Rico

In 2023, we are finally beginning to appreciate the importance of mental health. In Puerto Rico, we face unique challenges to this essential aspect of our wellbeing. We are grappling with a shortage of mental health professionals, limited resources, and a stigma surrounding conditions like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. It’s not an easy road, but together, we can pave the way to better mental health.

Most Common Mental Disorders on the Island

A recent report by the Mental Health and Addiction Services Administration (ASSMCA) revealed that anxiety and depression are the most common mental disorders on the island. Suicide ideation and attempts are also a major concern, especially among young adults. Certain population groups, such as women, people with lower levels of education, and residents living in poverty are especially vulnerable to these mental health struggles. It’s time we face these issues head-on and offer support to one another.

Systemic & Personal Obstacles

One of the biggest hurdles we face is the scarcity of mental health professionals, especially in our rural areas. It can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack to find the right expert who can provide the care we need. It’s not just about the shortage of professionals, but also the lack of funding and resources. This has left our mental health facilities stretched thin.

Another significant barrier that stands in our way is the stigma surrounding mental illness. Many of us may hesitate to seek help because we fear discrimination or negative consequences. But we must break free from this cycle of silence and shame. Seeking help for our mental well-being is a sign of strength, not weakness. At Pravan Health we want to create an environment where support is encouraged and judgment is replaced with understanding.

The COVID-19 pandemic only highlighted the importance of mental health services. It has increased the demand for support while making it more challenging to access care due to clinic closures and limitations. But we are adapting to the circumstances by embracing telehealth and other virtual mental health services that bring help within reach.

Potential Solutions

Despite the challenges we face, there is hope. We have opportunities for progress in the mental health field right here in Puerto Rico. We can address the shortage of professionals by incentivizing them to work in rural areas. We can advocate for greater funding and resources allocated to mental health services. Together, we can invest in our well-being and build a stronger, more supportive mental health infrastructure.

If you are experiencing mental health concerns in Puerto Rico, it is important to seek help. There are several providers of mental health services on the island, including psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. You can search for providers online or ask friends and family for recommendations. It is important to check if the provider you are considering is covered by your health insurance and also to research available resources, such as community clinics, non-profit organizations and government programs, to determine which is the best option for you.

Choosing a mental health provider is an important decision, and it is essential to research to find the right provider for you. Before scheduling an appointment, have a list of questions and concerns to discuss with the provider during the appointment. Ask about their credentials, their approach to treatment, costs and payment options, estimated time for treatment, and any other concerns you may have.

Support Resources

If you find yourself struggling with mental health concerns, please know that help is available. The Mental Health and Addiction Services Administration (ASSMCA) for example, offers care and treatment services for mental health and addiction problems. If you count on private insurance you can also access therapy and psychiatric services from organizations like NAMI Puerto Rico and the Psychotherapeutic Institute of Puerto Rico.

If those suggestions don’t fit your needs or urgency, here are more resources just a phone call away:

Remember that it is always important to seek professional help if you are in need of support, and at Pravan Health we are eager to help.


  1. Puerto Rico Department of Health, Mental Health and Addiction Services Administration (ASSMCA). (2018). Analysis of mental health in Puerto Rico.
  2. Puerto Rico Department of Health, Demographic Registry. (2020). Annual report of suicides in Puerto Rico – 2020.
  3. Aquí nos cuidamos. (n.d.). Mental Health.

Unite for Healing: Your Contribution, Puerto Rico's Transformation.

Embark on a journey of transformation with the Pravan Foundation. Your generous donation becomes a beacon of hope, illuminating the path to mental wellness for countless individuals in Puerto Rico. Together, let’s break down barriers, ushering in a new era of mental health and well-being.

Make a difference today – your contribution is the cornerstone of change, healing, and renewed hope across the island. Join us, and be the change that Puerto Rico needs. Unite for healing, unite for transformation, unite for a brighter tomorrow.

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