Press release on the occasion of International Mental Health Day 2019
Linz (OTS) – On the occasion of International Mental Health Day at
On October 10, pro mente Austria presented a catalog of measures for mental health and the future of social psychiatry in Austria, which was forwarded to the future federal government. This “resolution document” of the Austrian umbrella association of mental and social health associations and societies “summarizes the urgently needed and key topics for improving the state of social psychiatry or the life situations of people with mental disabilities in Austria”. Günter Klug, President of the Pro mente of Austria. Klug continues: "We expect a whole new set of concrete measures from the new government – both at health and social levels."
pro mente Austria collects five key requirements:
- The hand makes you sick and the sick makes you poor! We need appropriate measures for a non-morbid work environment and for poverty reduction.
- Loneliness is deadly! We need comprehensive, quickly accessible and affordable first aid for the soul.
- We need services for people, not administration! Therefore: unique national legislation, which is a low threshold available to all Austrians with mental disabilities without a heavy administrative burden.
- We need the heart and brain for mental health! Efficiency and effectiveness are not a contradiction of collaboration for mental health.
- We need a "soul check"! Because: care after it is worse than prevention – prevention always pays off.
The hand makes you sick and the sick makes you poor. Break the vicious cycle of poverty and disease
Increasing workload, greater pressure to work with declining real incomes, continued availability and over-stimulation caused by new media – all of which lead to a significant increase in chronic stress. This, especially when combined with material problems, can lead to mental illness such as burnout, depression, anxiety, the onset of psychosis, and an increased risk of suicide. In such situations, people are less and less able to secure their material lives. The vicious circle of illness and poverty is closing. Dr. Klug: "This problem has become more acute in recent years and we call on the new government to come up with appropriate solutions – regardless of which party it is made up of."
Loneliness is deadly – "first aid to the soul" saves lives
"Finally, a functioning crisis intervention system must be created throughout Austria," demanded the pro-Austrian president. Just as there is acute care that occurs throughout Austria on a daily basis due to organic disorders or injuries, so must there be national professional 'mental' crisis care across Austria.
Smart: "More and more people are living alone and alone. A time phenomenon loneliness makes a huge contribution to increasing the need for "first aid to the soul." In the acute case, in psychosocial crises, it is these people who need prompt, professional help for the soul in the context of a 24-hour crisis. And a psychiatrist appointment must be possible in a short time; current long waiting times for a psychiatrist are not acceptable! "Again, the new government, so promoted by Austria, must create the right conditions. The 24-hour crisis supply also contributes significantly to suicide prevention," Klug says.
Entitled "First Aid to the Soul," pro mente Austria offers a brochure and website with the most important information: descriptions of various mental disorders and illnesses, emergency lists and important crisis telephone numbers from all states. This booklet is intended to help lay people identify early signs of dangerous development and respond properly (download: https://www.erstehilfefuerdieseele.at/info/bestellungen). "However, our initiative does not reject policy from their duty to create a functional crisis intervention system," Klug says.
The legal entitlement to psychotherapy benefits must be statutory
pro mente Austria also requires a legal right to psychotherapy services. Klug: "The current situation discriminates against people with mental health problems. Because there is no mental health without health, you need the right to receive psychotherapy on your health insurance account." People with lower incomes especially benefit from it. This is the only way, Klug explains, to break the "downward spiral of mental illness and the inability to undergo psychotherapy treatment, which of course leads to exacerbation of the disease."
Existing childcare services also need to be improved and expanded at a structural and personal level. Smart: "It just needs more psychiatrists and psychosocial professionals! This is a funding problem. The new government will depend on the actual financial framework."
Social psychiatry policies needed for consistent care
Instead of the various benefits currently available to those affected, a unique regulation must finally be created for all of Austria. At the request of Austria by the future government, this should be implemented within the framework of the law on the principles of social psychiatry. Then the implementation would still be with the countries.
Healthcare through "soul check"
"Prevention always pays off," says the Austrian president. Therefore, pro mente Austria is committed to prevention through prevention and awareness raising. Future government will be needed here, for example in the form of a "mother-child" soul check, undergoing a check-up to give your mental health a permanent place.
Not only the climate crisis but also the psychosocial crisis – more tolerance is needed for those affected
"We have not only a climate crisis, but also a psychosocial crisis. We need Austria that pays attention to the soul and psyche of its citizens," Klug says convincingly. Here again, the new government requires ensuring the provision of adequate basic prerequisites – such as adequate material conditions for the individual – as well as creating a more tolerant social climate for people with mental illness.
The future government must act urgently
Wise concluded: "Our goal is to make the new federal government aware of the responsibility for the mental health of people in Austria, so that the necessary steps are taken, from providing the necessary financial resources to structuring an appropriate legal framework for social change. The solutions we propose are based on decades of expertise and experience in working with people with mental disabilities, scientific studies and insights, as well as recommendations from various other Austrian experts and institutions.
Free ordering and downloading brochures and postcards First aid for the soul and 10 Steps to Mental Health https://www.erstehilfefuerdieseele.at/info/bestellungen/
pro mente Austria is the umbrella organization of 24 non-profit organizations operating in psychosocial and social psychiatric care in Austria.
The goal of the Austrian pro ment is to permanently improve the lives and care of people with mental health problems and to support and strengthen them and their social environment.
The offer of 24 members of the pro-ment organization of Austria is wide. With 4,000 employees in Austria, about 80,000 people with mental or psychiatric problems or illnesses are cared for each year.
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