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When People Come FirstCritical Studies in Global Health$
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João Biehl and Adriana Petryna

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157382

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157382.001.0001

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Labor Instability and Community Mental Health

Labor Instability and Community Mental Health

The Work of Pharmaceuticals in Santiago, Chile

Chapter:
(p.276) 10 Labor Instability and Community Mental Health
Source:
When People Come First
Author(s):

Clara Han

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691157382.003.0014

This chapter explores how the local destiny of Chile's national program for depression was forged through pharmaceuticals. How and when women use antidepressants reflect both their practical knowledge of everyday afflictions and the shifting affective configurations of their domestic lives. In La Pincoya, psychopharmaceuticals distributed by the local primary care center in the framework of community mental health are absorbed into domestic relations. As material substrates, they can manifest care among neighbors and kin when shared in a variety of ways. They have entered a local formulary of medications informed by practical knowledges of the bodily symptoms and afflictions that are often reactions to labor instability, kinship relations, and economic indebtedness. The chapter examines how these knowledges work in relation to “health,” experienced locally, and how these knowledges—in tandem with institutional failures—can obscure rare disease processes.

Keywords:   Chile, mental health programs, public health, depression, global health, psychopharmaceuticals, antidepressants, domestic relations

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