The lack of reform in mental health in Romania increases the already existing burden, which is associated with psychiatric disorders, says the president of the Romanian Association of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy (ARRP), Ana Giurgiucă. She says that in Romania there is one psychiatrist for every 10,000 inhabitants.
“The role of the psychiatrist is central in mental health services. Complex care needs also require the presence of other specialists to form multi- and interdisciplinary teams. The lack of reform in mental health in Romania increases the already existing burden, which is associated with psychiatric disorders. Stigmatization, the inconsistency of legislation, the lack of integrated services and the limited resources allocated to mental health are just some of the obstacles we face in our mission to provide complex services to all those who need them”, said Ana Giurgiucă, according to a press release quoted by Agerpres.
According to specialists, people suffering from psychiatric disorders need complex care, requiring both the intervention of the psychiatrist and his collaborators from related fields (prevention, primary medical care, services from general hospitals, community services, psychiatric hospitals).
“In this context, the institutional map of Romania is poorly laid out and far below the European/world average. We have approximately 0.1 psychiatrists per 1,000 inhabitants, 1 bed in specialized centers per 1,000 inhabitants and 0.38 mental health centers per 100,000 inhabitants. Suicide affects people and their families, from all socio-economic strata and from all age groups. One in 100 deaths is due to suicide. It is estimated that for every suicide death, there are another 20 suicide attempts by the individual concerned. Schizophrenia, a major psychiatric disorder with a prevalence of 0.5% in the general population, represents an essential concern for mental health systems, since in the acute phases it is the most disabling of all diseases. People who suffer from schizophrenia or other major psychiatric disorders survive, on average, 10-20 years less than the general population, especially due to some somatic comorbidities that can be prevented”, the release states.
Stigma can lead to social isolation
According to the representatives of the association, stigma is a major barrier to patients’ access to care and to the improvement of mental health services.
“Stigma can lead to social isolation, discrimination and violation of human rights in multiple contexts, having a major negative impact on a person’s ability to earn an income, to have a home, to have access to quality health services, to contribute to the community and recover. To combat stigma, the most effective type of intervention is social contact, to improve knowledge and attitudes related to stigmatization”, says the same source.
During the National Psychiatry Conference, held in Bucharest under the theme “Multidisciplinarity and continuity of care services in mental health”, over 800 specialists from the country and abroad presented and emphasized the essential role and the need for the development of community psychiatry services, liaison psychiatry , psychogeriatrics, forensic psychiatry and addiction medicine.
The Romanian Association of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy organizes the National Psychiatry Conference between June 7 and 10.