||This article identifies strategies that have contributed to the development of mental health response capacity in primary care in Chile and analyzes some lessons learned from this process. It highlights the formulation of national mental health plans, the gradual development of an information system, the investment of additional resources, the creation of programs and guidelines, human resources development, the positioning of mental health in integrated health service delivery networks, support for biopsychosocial child development, the family and community care model, and the strengthening of leadership and partnerships between health and human services. Its indicators of response capacity are the increase in resources for mental health in primary care, both financial and staffing (that is, the number of professionals and the training provided to them), and the expansion of mental health treatment in primary care settings, notably the rate of people in treatment for mental illness and the support provided for child development. The article analyzes different factors that have contributed to advances in primary care delivery of mental health services, together with some weaknesses in this process. It concludes by demonstrating the feasibility of progress toward the goals of Alma-Ata to other countries in the Region, gradually implementing substantial changes in mental health response capacity in primary care. To this end, it recommends an improvement in the quality and quantity of research in this area through methodologies that permit comparisons between countries in the Region. © 2018 Pan American Health Organization. All rights reserved.