Situation of the rights of persons with mental health problems continues to remain concerning13:29, October 10, 2016 | News, Own news | Prohibition of Discrimination, Rights of Patients
October 10 is the World Mental Health Day. On the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health and with the support of the World Health Organization, this day is marked since 1992.
Protection of the rights of persons with psychosocial and mental disabilities has been one of the directions of the activities of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor for over 10 years.
The Republic of Armenia has taken essential steps in protecting the rights of persons with mental health problems, including psychosocial and mental disabilities, which is conditioned by a number of RA Government projects aimed at improving the sector.
Under such projects, on December 17, 2015, the RA Government approved the draft decree on Approving the Procedure for Provision of Alternative Care and Social Services for Persons with Mental Health Problems at 24-Hour Care Houses. As a result, in April 2016, the first community-based service for persons with psychosocial and mental disabilities was introduced in Spitak town in Lori marz (region); Spitak Care Home is the first attempt to provide independent life and community inclusion for persons with psychosocial and mental disabilities.
The majority of over 46,000 persons with psychosocial and mental disabilities registered in the Republic are deprived of such an opportunity. Some of them are at closed institutions and isolated from the community and others live in community but are not fully involved in the community life and do not receive proper care and treatment.
The RA Ministry of Health drafted and in August 2015 put into circulation a draft RA Law on Making Changes in RA Law on Psychiatric Care, which intends to bring certain clarity in the sector of psychiatric care.
Despite this, we should note that the mental health sector has been left out of the draft law to a large extent.
Another issue of concern is the nonperformance of the other actions within the terms prescribed by the above projects; they are not performed because of the lack of sufficient funds.
The human rights situation at psychiatric facilities still remains concerning.
We consider it important that the actions taken in the sector are brought into compliance with the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
We note that despite the measures taken, the persons with mental health problems remain stigmatized by both the public and media publications and publications shared on the official websites of state agencies.