International Meeting 2016 “Developing the Psychiatric Hospitals in Transition Alliance in Europe”

WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training International Mental Health Collaborating Network

Trieste, 15-16 December 2016

Direction Mental Health Dept. / Parco di San Giovanni
Via Weiss 5

The purpose of the working group is to bring togheter partners and experiences developed in Europe around the issue of the improvement of quality of care in institutions, in a view of fulfilling human rights, citizenship and moving towards the phasing out of asylums and the development of comprehensive community based services. The social exclusion remains the condition of many people with severe mental health problems, either in institutions or in the society, leading to discrimination, stigmatization and loss of rights.

The invited experiences will compare their practices and strategies and identify common points and a joint plan to
submit to national and european policy makers.

After the "THINK-TANK Conference - CROSSROADS OF CHANGE - The leading experiences in a Whole Life, Whole Systems, Whole Community Approach to Mental Health Services and Practices", 17th-18th October 2016, Trieste, that was focused on community based care, the working group will equally contribute to a Compendium of Best Practices as regards to the area of deinstitualization.

The Compendium will be used to inform the development of a WHO QualityRights guidance on community based and recovery oriented services that respect and promote human rights as part of the overall WHO QualityRightsinitiative, which works to improve quality and rights in mental health around the world.

The International Mental Health Collaborating Network (IMHCN) with partners in India, Brazil, Malaysia, Serbia,Hungary, Palestine, Azerbaijan, The Gambia, Canada, Italy and the UK have developed the International Psychiatric
Hospital in Transition Alliance, founded at the 2015 Franco and Franca Basaglia International School held in Trieste.

This Alliance builds on the declaration made in Trieste in 2011 at the Franco and Franca Basaglia International School
"Beyond the Walls" entitled "The process of phasing out of psychiatric hospitals as places of social exclusion and the
shift to community services".
The Declaration proposes the following:

  1. Support and guidance in various countries for deinstitutionalisation and development of integrated/comprehensive Community Mental Health services by:
    ▪ drafting of policies at the local and national leve
    ▪ strengthening leadership and management (e.g through the exchange of operators, on-site and off-site training, courses and stages)
    ▪ supporting implementation and development of local services network
    ▪ supporting workforce development (multidisciplinary teams)

  2. Collaboration, partnership and networking with some countries/areas which demonstrate the willingness and capacity to deliver community based service development;

  3.  Diffusion of Whole Systems & Recovery approaches: innovative practices in community MH (e.g. alternatives for acute care; comprehensive CMH Centres; rehabilitation, recovery & social inclusion services; deinstitutionalisation & whole systems change; early intervention integrated network; social enterprises &Cooperatives technology, operation & policies)".

In many countries the development of a comprehensive community mental health system to replace the psychiatric hospital has and will be a patchy and slow process. This is due to many factors, economic, political, environmental, social, educational and ideological. However, there are excellent examples around the world of community services
and recovery practices that have proved to be more beneficial in meeting the needs of people with mental health

There are thousands of people in psychiatric hospitals in low to middle income countries as well as many in richer countries. They need more opportunities to improve their human rights, mental health and wellbeing whilst they are in these hospitals.

The main purpose of this International Alliance is to improve their quality of life, their human rights, to meet their individual needs, to improve their choice of treatments and therapies and to protect them from abuse and discrimination.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently launched the "The QualityRights Programme" which aims to improve the quality and human rights conditions in inpatient and outpatient mental health and social care facilities and empower organizations to advocate for the rights of people with mental and psychosocial disabilities. The WHO states "the care available in mental health facilities around the world is not only of poor quality but in many instances actually hinders recovery. It is common for people to be locked away in small, prison-like cells with no human contact or to be chained to their beds, unable to move. Violations are not restricted to inpatient and residential facilities however; many people seeking care from outpatient and community care services are disempowered and also experience extensive restrictions to their basic human rights."

The WHO QualityRights Toolkit is an important mean to assess and promote the implementation of the 5 core articles of the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), adopted by Unites Nations in 2006 and in Italy in 2009. It specifically helps to promote human rights, recovery, and independent living in the community; to support improvements on the ground and at policy level; to promote participation of people with mental health conditions.

The toolokit has been used in several countries, eg India, Brasil, Spain. More recently, a relevant training material related to capacity building on human rights and recovery has been deveoped by WHO HQs in Geneva.

The mission of the Alliance Partners will be to address these challenges by changing the culture in in-patient settings from one of maintenance and no hope to a Whole Person, Whole Life and Recovery Approach. We will do this by:

  • Identifying and sharing best practice in improving the users experience in hospitals
  • Campaigning for their human rights
  • Identifying and sharing good examples of community developments
  • Examples of Whole Person, Recovery Practice
  • Creating a web page for each Alliance Partner on our website
  • Developing an Alliance newsletter
  • Identifying bad practices
  • Introducing a Learning Set on the process of Deinstitutionalisation
  • Providing training in deinsitutionalisation and community development
  • Offering to Partners a Learning Set on Whole Person, Whole Life-Whole System, Recovery into Practice
  • Acting as advocates for culture change
  • Introducing to Partners new ways of working with users and family members
  • Organising events in Alliance Partners Hospitals and community services

The meeting is organized by Mental Health Department – WHO CC for Research and Training - ASUITs, Trieste and IMHCN (International Mental Health Collaborating Network), UK.
We hope that you will be able to attend the working group.

If you need a more personalized invitation letter for your Organization, please let us know and we will provide it.

Language: English
Meeting Venue: Direction Mental Health Dept. / Parco di San Giovanni, via Weiss, 5 – Trieste
Contacts: e-mail: [email protected]

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