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Journal article

What contribution can ordinary people make to national mental health policies?

Authors:
HAYWARD Robert, CUTLER Paul
Journal article citation:
Community Mental Health Journal, 43(5), October 2007, pp.517-526.
Publisher:
Springer

This article describes the progress and achievements of grassroots organisations and people with mental health problems in Romania in developing policies to promote community-based mental health services at a national level.

Journal article

Caring for children of parents with mental health problems - a venture into historical and cultural processes in Europe

Authors:
SOLANTAUS Tytti, PURAS Dainius
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 12(4), November 2010, pp.27-36.
Publisher:
Taylor and Francis

This article discusses the European initiative Work Package 5 (WP5), a part of the CAMHEE programme, which was designed to bring children and families with parental mental illness onto the European agenda. Parental mental health problems are a major risk for children’s adverse development. Intergenerational mental health issues often leads to social marginalisation and exclusion, which constitutes a serious social problem. WP5 participants included Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Lithuania, Norway and Romania. The WP5 emphasised that it is important for every country to learn what the legal, human rights, and service and life situation is for these children and families and to take preventive and promotion action. The paper suggests that, to avoid further stigmatisation, awareness campaigns and training of professionals should capitalise on resilience and support for children and parenting rather than on risks. Psychiatric services for adults should respond to the needs for care and support of the patients' children. Finally, changes in society are needed, including redirecting legislation from restrictive measures towards promotion and prevention.

Journal article

Institutions remain dumping grounds for forgotten people

Author:
TAVANIER Yana Buhrer
Journal article citation:
Tizard Learning Disability Review, 15(2), April 2010, pp.4-14.
Publisher:
Emerald

This article highlights a study conducted undercover in institutions for adults with intellectual and mental health disabilities in Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia. It found evidence of human rights abuses, inhuman and degrading treatment, and severe neglect. The author suggests that reform is coming too slowly to institutions for adults with intellectual and mental health disabilities in these countries, where chronic neglect, filthy conditions, and the use of physical restraints and high-dosage drugs to control behaviour remain routine. The author describes, from a personal perspective, many of the failings in the care system with the three countries, and highlights how much of the abuse is conducted behind closed doors, in an effort to hide the true extent of the problem – which, if disclosed, may have ramifications for EU grants to these countries.

Journal article Full text available online for free

Pathways to psychiatric care in Eastern Europe

Authors:
GATER Richard, et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 186(6), June 2005, pp.529-535.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

There has been almost no research into mental health services in Eastern Europe. A pathways study is a quick and useful starting point, requiring few resources. The aim was to improve understanding of prior care-seeking and treatment of new patients seen at mental health services. Pathways diagrams were drawn showing the routes of care-seeking for 50 new patients in eight centres. Patterns of care-seeking, durations and previous treatments were compared for ICD-10 diagnostic groups.  The diagnoses varied according to the organisation of services. Major pathways included general practitioners, direct access and hospital doctors. General practitioners have a limited role as ‘gatekeeper’ in centres in Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia-Montenegro, and rarely prescribed treatment, except sedatives, for mental disorders.  Findings highlight areas that require attention if aspirations for community-oriented mental health care are to be realised, particularly integration of mental health into primary care.

Journal article

Empowering the people

Author:
JACKSON Catherine
Journal article citation:
Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Care, 3(2), October 1999, pp.42-45.
Publisher:
Pavilion

Mental health service users in the emerging democracies of eastern and central Europe are beginning to make their voices heard. This article looks at self-advocacy and user organisations from former Communist countries, including Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia and Bosnia/Herzegovena.

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