On the initiative of the Society of Preventive Psychiatry, the European Association of Professors Emeriti and the Greek Carers Network EPIONI, the workshop “Mental Health is a Universal Human Right” was successfully held on Friday 6.10 from 17:00 to 19:00 at the Metropolitan College in Athens and online on the occasion of the World Mental Health Day 2023.
The workshop was attended by important personalities from Greece and abroad who referred to the neglect of social, housing, employment and medical care for people with mental illness which has led to a significant reduction in the life expectancy of patients. The speakers referred to the role of stigma, the essential contribution of informal carers at a significant cost to their own health and issues related to the scandalous neglect of the human rights of people with mental illness at the international level.
The event was held both in person and virtually, allowing for a wide audience to participate. The event was graced by esteemed speakers, including Prof. George Christodoulou and Spyros Zorbas, and it received a special greeting from Dr. Dimitrios Vartzopoulos, Deputy Minister of Health, Government of Greece. Prof. Vasilis Bozikas, President of the Hellenic Psychiatric Association, provided the opening remarks.
1. Prof. Danuta Wasserman, President of the World Psychiatric Association, delivered an insightful address, emphasizing the global importance of mental health awareness and the role of psychiatry in addressing these challenges.
2. Prof. Norman Sartorius, Past President of the World Psychiatric Association, shared valuable insights into the historical perspective of mental health advocacy and the progress made over the years.
3. Dr. Ledia Lazeri, Regional Advisor for Mental Health at the World Health Organization, shed light on the international efforts to promote mental health and the collaboration between nations to address mental health issues.
4. Dr. Kelly Panagiotopoulou, representing “Epioni,” discussed practical initiatives and strategies to improve mental health at the grassroots level, highlighting the importance of community-based interventions.
5. Mr. Stecy Igemonos, from Eurocarers, shared the perspective of caregivers and the challenges they face in supporting individuals with mental health issues, emphasizing the need for increased support and awareness.
Prof. Nikos Christodoulou, representing the Society of Preventive Psychiatry, provided a comprehensive summary and analysis of the key points raised by the speakers. His insights helped connect the various aspects of mental health discussed during the event and facilitated a meaningful discussion among the attendees.