The Downgrading of the Mental Health Services Provided: From the Era of Prosperity to the Era of Financial Crisis?

Introduction: The Psychiatric Reform aims to provide psychiatric patients’ treatment within the community. In that way, patients will succeed in living with a functional ordinary everyday activity. Harsh socio-economic conditions in the era of crisis though pose serious obstacles towards the implementation of this reform. Aim: The current review aims to investigate the literature created in the recent years in order to depict causes and circumstances which downgraded the level of Mental Health services provided in the era of financial crisis. Method: There was conducted literature review through multifaceted search within research studies, review papers and reports published in print and digital form in both Greek and English languages. There were also investigated information sources in Pubmed and there was also analyzed the legal and institutional framework on which the mental health services were based upon. Results: Certain parts of population with low income have lost of 24,2% of their income in years between 2009-2012. A 10% of the most destitute part of population lost a 56,5% of their income. The use of antidepressant medication was increased by 34,8% in years between 2006–2011 and suicidal ideas amongst individuals under treatment were increased from 4,5% in 2009 up to 22,7% in 2011. A 40-50% of inpatients in public institutions derives from public prosecutor’s order for involuntary hospitalization which in turn results in asphyxiating conditions within those institutions. Conclusions: The increasing shortage of institutional hospices, the increasing number of involuntary hospitalization, the understaffness along with forced restriction of patients as an immediate and safe solution for treatment, accompanied with inadequate coordination of health and general justice services tend to the restrict altogether the judicial and civil rights of inpatients. The inefficient coverage of basic needs in certain parts of population, (youth unemployed, children and their families) requires a more adequate cooperation between health and social welfare professionals and ministry of justice officers in order to wear off the general feeling that “since we serve in an era of low expectations, then we will have low demands as well”.

Category: Volume 58, N 2
Hits: 30 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2019
Authors: Stavros Theologou