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Since the late 1980s, the Brazilian Psychiatric Reform, alongside the anti-asylum movement, has promoted a change in the way of treating people with mental suffering in…
Since the late 1980s, the Brazilian Psychiatric Reform, alongside the anti-asylum movement, has promoted a change in the way of treating people with mental suffering in the country. This process produced transformations in the flows and forms in which individuals with mental illnesses use the city, intending to make the city itself less unequal.
Taking into account that accessibility measures must consider individual, temporal, transportation and land-use elements as relevant, this study will focus on the relation between mobility and access, looking at subjects who were submitted to prolonged psychiatric hospitalisation and got discharged to live in the Residential Therapeutic Services – RTS, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In order to do that, the study used focus groups, observation, shadowing and in-depth interviews as methodologies strategies.
The results of the study demonstrate that: (a) there are a variety of ways of accessing the city; (b) displacements outside the facilities are characterised by the proximity of the destinations and by being made, mostly, on foot; (c) there is a restriction regarding the use of public transport system; and (d) access to money is a determinant factor for the accomplishment of mobility practices in city spaces. However, it is also observed that the mobility and access to the city can exert an effect of autonomy by allowing governance of the subjects’ own time and destination.