The government’s commitment to completing the pending psychiatric reform was made by the Deputy Minister of Health, Zoe Rapti, speaking at the first meeting of the National Committee for Mental Health.

The committee aims to formulate the National Action Plan for Mental Health, which the government proposes to be composed of 10 pillars:

  1. Complete the abolition of institutional care (dissolution of the Chronic Care Departments in the remaining Psychiatric Hospitals) while developing services for people with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders and developing psychogeriatrics.
  2. Further develop and integrate the Community network of mental health services while integrating mental health services into the PHC, using modern digital technologies.
  3. Complete the network of mental health services for children & adolescents, including specific provisions for people with pervasive developmental disorders.
  4. Reform forensic psychiatric services from institutional to community-based services and develop Psychiatric Intensive Care Units.
  5. Complete the network of Social Cooperatives for people with mental health problems throughout the country.
  6. Implement sectionalisation universally throughout the country, taking into account all pillars of mental health service delivery (Public & Private Sector, NGOs), ensuring quality and safety of mental health recipients and promoting research and training in mental health.
  7. Reduce the number of unintentional hospitalisations to the EU average.
  8. Strengthen the integration of people with mental health problems into the labour market and develop programmes to protect workers’ mental health.
  9. Protect the rights of the adults with mental health problems and combating social stigma while empowering the voice of mental health users and their families.
  10. Empower mental health services in planning to respond to emergencies such as pandemics or natural disasters.

“Today, we are all working together to design a high quality, person-centred and community-oriented mental health system, harmonised with human rights, with zero tolerance for social exclusion and stigmatisation. A system that will allow unhindered access to the full range of mental health services to all citizens,” the Deputy Minister noted.