Report of AISMe (Donatella Miccinesi and Pino Pini) on 2008 activities as the MHE National Focal Point for Italy
Participation in EU issues brought to our attention by Mental Health Europe
In 2008 Mental Health Europe, trough board meetings, conferences and seminars also
with EU officers from various Directorates, has involved us in different issues like the dissemination of the Good Practices against social exclusion project, the Social Charter, the Mental Health determinants, the Open Method of Coordination, the mental health situation in the European countries and the European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Dissemination of information from the European level to other mental health NGOs in our country and vice versa
The dissemination of information from European level to our country NGOs has been rather difficult. People locally has lot of information about too many things. But there is a huge lack of direct communication. So it is difficult to distinguish useful information from useless information. For this reason we tried to involve people directly in meetings for open discussions. We have involved also the local governments and the local services to implement the disseminations of information trough discussions among the different stakeholders.
On the other side we tried to bring at the European level attention some of our issues like the capillary work at local community level (as the local mental health systems project), the 30th anniversary of Italian law 180, the relationships with other mental health associations in Italy (mainly users and relative associations)
Our comments on our country’s National Strategic Reports on social inclusion
By the end of 2008 we have been stimulated by MHE to give information about the mental health situation in Italy asking some specific questions.
Looking at some Italian strategic reports we made the following report.
In Italy, in theory and officially, there are not plans for budget cuts for mental health. During the present year, the 30th anniversary of law 180, a lot of promises have been done to implement all sectors of mental health. There is an evident lack of resources in the health and social in general, but there are proclaims that mental health will not be touched by the shortage of resources. The problem is also that more and more people ask for mental health services and the managers want the re-organisation of the services themselves to serve more people with the same resources. A lot of money goes to the new medications, especially the new antidepressants which can be freely prescribed by GPs. Less and less money go to psychosocial approaches. So the medical model is increasing and the practices alternative to the medical model risk to decrease. Administrators and mangers play strange games and make an huge use of demagogy. I hope that the development of independent mental health associations can contrast this phase of involution
There are not changes in legislation, at the moment, also if there is some proposal in the national parliament to give more power to psychiatrists. But fortunately there are more urgent issues to discuss.
We would say that there is a slow process of involution because, with the lack of resources at territorial level, being now mental health totally decentralised in the territory, there is the risk to mix to much mental problems with social problems
Participation in Mental Health Europe activities in 2008
Below the participation of AISMe (Donatella Miccinesi and Pino Pini) at the following MHE activities
MHE board 8 March 2008 Bruxelles (Pino Pini participated)
The good practices for social inclusion project has been published and it is ready for dissemination in the different countries. All the MHE members are invited to publicize the booklet.
It has been stressed the importance of consultation to the European Commission, especially for the Active Inclusion recommendations. The Open Method of Coordination has to be more and more understood and put in practice. MHE members are invited to look at the National strategy reports in their own country
28/29 April, MHE directors meeting (Donatella Miccinesi and Pino Pini participated)
It was organised also a meeting with Trude Elianssen (social affairs progress employment and social solidarity) to better know the role of EU promoting social inclusion and fighting social exclusion
Many themes have been presented and discussed: the National focal points project, the EU Health determinants Unit, the 13 june 2008 high level conference leading to the Mental Health Pact, the EU Institutional Triangle (Eu commission, EU Parliament, EU Council of Ministers) and European or national associations (Feanta, ProMente, AEN, GGZ)
Capacity building seminar in Aalborg 6 August (Pino Pini participated)
Discussion on the differences between the former Green Paper and the new Pact on Mental Health.
The green Paper was focused mainly on promotion and prevention. The Pact is a kind of declaration of intents and involve more EU Directorates and not only DG SANCO. Discussion on the five areas of the pact.
Interesting workshop on the Pact with the aim to facilitate participation and to combine national actions with European Actions.
Aalborg 7/9 August MHE conference Diversity in Mental Health and well-being an opportunity for Intercultural dialogue. Pino Pini and Sashi Sashidharan made a joint presentation of an Italian-Scottish collaboration project for integration of people in local communities.
3 December MHE board and meeting with the EU Parliament (Pino Pini participated)
Ensuring mental health in youth in modern European Societies. Turning the Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing into reality
Presentation of Mental Health Europe’s work in our own meetings or conferences
Preparation of a seminar in Florence(Italy) on the European Pact on Mental Health and Well being. The aim of the seminar is to give the occasion to policy makers, professional and associations to know more about the new policy of the European Union in the mental health field. The presentation will be done by MHE members, Italian MEP are invited to participate.
We are collaborating to an EU research on the internal governance of the European NGOs