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Mental health: “with an exceptional action plan” to regulate the area as soon as possible

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Advice on World Mental Health Day

Minister of Health Danijel Bešič Loredan pointed out at the consultation on World Mental Health Day that the Resolution on the National Mental Health Program 2018-2028 is being implemented too slowly: “We will take an intensive approach to speeding things up.”



On World Mental Health Day, the Ministry of Health organized a professional meeting in Brdo pri Kranje, aimed at finding solutions to the challenges in providing mental health. Minister Danijel Bešič Loredan pointed out that the Resolution on the National Mental Health Program 2018-2028 is being implemented too slowly. “That is why we will take an intensive approach to speeding up the matter as much as possible.” he assured and added that a way must also be found in the talks with the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia to ensure that psychological treatment and treatment services are provided to everyone who needs them, despite the staff shortage.

“We are serious about regulating the field of mental health, which is undernourished and inaccessible. With an exceptional action plan, we want to bring services and a network in the field of mental health into reality as soon as possible,” emphasized the minister. At the same time, he highlighted the legal regulation of the field and the establishment of appropriate structures, and emphasized that they want to show significant results already in a year.

At government level, the mental health council will be revived, at the level of cooperation between ministries, an interdepartmental working group has already been established, at the level of the Ministry of Health, everything is ready for the establishment of a sector for mental health and dementia, and at the National Institute of Public Health, in November, a mental health center. “This way we will have the basic structures to be able to implement all the plans with which we want to improve this area,” said the psychiatry specialist Mojca Zvezdana Dernovšek. As she explained, the field of mental health, which has become a major problem in the post-covid period, is now receiving extremely high attention.

As far as legislation is concerned, the amendment to the Act on Mental Health, which will eliminate the discrepancy with the constitution, goes into interdepartmental coordination this week. Laws on psychological activity and psychotherapy are also priorities. A special working group will be established in December, and the adoption of both laws is expected at the end of 2023, said Dernovšek.

Human Rights Ombudsman Peter Svetina I am glad that the Ministry of Health has recognized that they must be as active as possible in the field of mental health, especially in view of the alarming statistics, to which the covid-19 pandemic has added its share. “There are a lot of acute problems in the field of mental health and some of them have been going on for years,” pointed out Svetin and added that they are also receiving more and more initiatives regarding human rights violations from this area.

He is particularly concerned about the significant increase in the need for urgent hospital pediatric psychiatric services and the lack of suitable capacities for treating children and adolescents with mental health disorders. According to the Guardian, the search for a systemic solution is proceeding too slowly. “Our appeals that the number of specialists should be increased and that measures should be taken to enable children and adolescents to have access to regular treatment and therapy remain unheeded,” said Svetina.

He added that the field of psychotherapy also remains unregulated. Many initiatives with which people in need contact the Ombudsman relate to the Mental Status Act and unresolved systemic problems, such as the placement of persons in protected departments of social welfare institutions based on a court decision, lack of staff and spatial problems of social welfare service providers. Recommendations to individual institutions are also implemented too slowly, the ombudsman assessed.

Source: Rtvslo

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