Thursday , 13 August 2020


Joint statement of people with disabilities with people with mental disabilities

The impact of the covid-19 pandemic on people with mental disabilities, as well as the completion of psychiatric reform, were the topics of the esamea meeting with representatives of the Federation of Mental Health and Psychosocial Rehabilitation Bodies ARGO, on Monday, July 13, at the offices of esamea. On the part of ESAMEA, its president Ioannis Vardakastanis and the executive of ESAMEA Evelina Kallimani, and from Argo the president Menelaos Theodoroulakis, the Secretary Kate Mylonopoulou and the Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the ECPs&P. Athena Frangoulis. President I. Vardakastanis, welcoming the delegation, stated that the issues of people with mental disabilities are a priority of the action of the EASMA. After all, the ESAMEA has pioneered the implementation of a programme of self-advocacy and self-representation of people with mental disabilities. They have a voice within the ESAMEA, with their elected representative to the General Council of the ESAMEA. That is why cooperation with Argo is considered particularly important at this time.

On the part of the Argo Federation, information was held on the actions of mental health bodies during the pandemic period, as well as on the psychosocial effects recorded on the general population. In particular, the collective intervention was presented at national level with the development of the psychosocial support line for corovirus 10306 in which it played an active role, and in which more than 200 psychologists and social workers from 40 bodies members of the Federation participated. In addition, the actions at local level of both the Day Centres and the mobile units providing services throughout the pandemic period were presented. The success of the case was highlighted in any unit of the ARGO Federation bodies, thanks to the timely preparation and training of the staff. Issues of the rights of people with mental disabilities and advocacy, the completion of psychiatric reform, vocational rehabilitation and institutional interventions were further discussed. Particular emphasis was placed on the issues arising in the implementation of the circular on the transition of people with mental disabilities from psychiatric hospitals to psychosocial rehabilitation housing units. It was stressed that the circular violates the rights of the mentally disabled because it provides for the mandatory stay for a quarter of a person with a mental disability in a housing structure without his prior preparation (development of a therapeutic relationship) but most importantly without his consent, as required both by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and by Greek law.

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