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Community based mental health support services: do not exist in Ukraine

22 February 2018

Over the last years the International Renaissance Foundation has supported a number of public initiatives to prevent human rights violations and to create an environment free of torture and ill-treatment in closed institutions in Ukraine.

This applies to psychiatric institutions, psycho-neurological dispensaries, prisons, hospices and almost 5000 other institutions where people are isolated from the outside world. At the same time, the principle of social isolation from the community was completely abandoned in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Greece and Great Britain. European countries are evolving to create a system of community based mental health support services.

Recently Ukraine first appeared on the European map, which outlines the location of community based mental health support services within the framework of the study of the situation with psychiatric care in Europe. Ukraine is shown on the map with an explanation: “These services do not exist”.

In fact, Ukraine has no mental health support system for people with mental disorders, despite the fact that global researchers and Ukrainian volunteers of the National Preventive Mechanisms - NPM, who regularly visit “closed institutions”, assure that while people are being isolated from the community in psychiatric institutions, they tend to become rather victims of violence instead of those who commit violence themselves.

The study was conducted by the European Center for Mental Health and the University of Kent with the support of international organizations, including the International Renaissance Foundation, a member of the Open Society Foundations network.

A map showing community based mental health support services and a full study in English:

A brief report on Ukraine from this study in Ukrainian: 

Stories of real people who stay in psychiatric care institutions:

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