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Fig. 1 | International Journal of Mental Health Systems

Fig. 1

From: A qualitative exploration of a family self-help mental health program in El Salvador

Fig. 1

Levels of interpersonal trust in Latin America (average 1996–2001). The World Values Survey and other international surveys ask questions about trust towards other people as a reflection of each society’s level of social capital. Measures of social capital reflect levels of satisfaction and efficiency that citizens feel towards their governments and other institutions within their societies. Social capital helps institutions function well and achieve goals that citizens want. Trust, then, is a major means of measuring how well people can work together to accomplish larger goals. This chart shows that El Salvador is in the middle of measures of interpersonal trust among countries in the Americas, with Canada and the USA having relatively high levels of trust, and Peru and Brazil at the bottom. At 21 %, people in El Salvador have low levels of trust in others. This study compares a small sample of users and caregivers in a community mental health program very favorably against this measure of trust from the general Salvadoran population, with the average response falling between one being able to “sometimes” or “often” trust in others. The question then arises, do community self-help groups and organizations help to create higher levels of social capital among participants that facilitates more effective and satisfying organizations? Does increased social capital at both the individual and organizational levels help these organizations to accomplish their goals?

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