"Despite far-reaching changes in some countries institutions are still the dominant form of service-provison in many countries in Europe" - Mental Health Europe's new report 'Mapping Exclusion' starts with this synthetic observation, which is documented with 32 state-reports.
The report shed light on the main problem: The institutionalization of people with mental health problems is one of the blatant human rights violations across Europe which is integrated in the social policy in most of the countries. While countries have ratified the United Nations Convention on Rights of People with Disabilities, most of them are reluctant to closing old institutions and developing an alternative system, which supports people with disabilities to living and working in the community.
The report states, that there are significant differences between the states, especially between Eastern and Western European countries. Following the west-east slope, we find an increasing rate of people placed under guardianship and living in institutions. But it would be a serious mistake to think that institutions belong only to the post-communist welfare regimes. Institutions and psychiatric hospitals are widespread in Belgium, France or even Germany.
The report is divided into two parts: Gábor Petri and Ágnes Kozma give an overview on the state of deinstitutionalization, guardianship reforms and personal budget at the European level and make important recommendations for further social policies in Europe. The Appendix contains 32 state-reports, all of these give concrete information on the present situation of the national mental health policies.
Local governments of Bélapátfalva and Szilvásvárad, two small settlements in Hungary, protested against disabled people who were going to move into their community. The rejected are the former residents of the social care home in Bélapátfalva, an institution that housed more than 300 disabled and elderly people who lived in exclusion.
The aim of the Prize is to acknowledge television and online video works aimed at highlighting the problems of marginalised groups, and raising public and media awareness. It is a big honour for us to be awarded this prize in 2013.
Stijn Goossens, the head of the International Network of People Who Use Drugs (www.inpud.org) is speaking about Trek Uw Plant, an interesting social experiment in the city of Antwerp, Belgium. The interview was made at the International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harms, Warsaw, 2007.