Welcome message from MEP Mrs Kostadinka Kuneva
Mrs Kostadinka Kuneva is Member of the”Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and Co-president at Disability Intergroup of European Parliament.
The letter of the MEP Mrs Kostadinka Kuneva was read by Mr Anestis Roukai during the IS to the Kick off Meeting in Athens (11/01/2017).
The letter’s content:
The logic of de-institutionalization and inclusion of people with mental health problems in our society and the full enjoyment of their fundamental rights is inalienable. Who can argue this?
But in Greece we had several problems regarding the issue of psychiatric reform. Approximately 30 years after the first efforts in the context of de-institutionalization of people with mental health problems, during which spent millions of Euros from EU and state funds, most of which through the so-called "Psychargos" program, the country is still far behind and few of the benefits of psychiatric reform reached to people with mental problems and their families. What we have seen is that several NGOs without a specific plan and action take a chunk of psychiatric "reform", while many of them were first introduced private employment affairs in the field of mental health. In my opinion, the attempt of the privatization of the mental care system played a key role in the failure of the psychiatric reform.
I expect that your program will contribute to the two, in my opinion, most critical goals for the future.
Firstly, for social perspective to fully remove the stigma of people with mental problems.
And secondly, to the State level to create a comprehensive network of services of distributed in that way will be a continuity and consistency in the treatment process. A treatment process which will be accompanied by sufficient and appropriate staff. This good practice can and should be a common European policy and must be implemented in all EU countries or at least in countries with the poorest performance in the de-institutionalization of the people with mental health problems.
Finally, I want to make a short comment regarding the European Union. The EU is at a critical turning point in its history. It faces serious existential problem in ideological, political, economic and social level. To get out of this impasse -that has come due to the adoption of the neo-liberals policies- should prioritize its social policies and to invest in human. And this respect and care for the reintegration of the people with mental health problems in society without stigma and without bias. And I hope the program in which you participate to make a decisive contribution to this.