Launch of the National Programme on Community-Based Social Assistance and Rehabilitation for People with Mental problems, 2011-2020
Nguyen Thi Anh (14) is deaf and attends the Nguyen Dinh Chieu Special School in Da Nang, Viet Nam. © UNICEF Viet Nam/2012/Macksey
Da Nang, 27 November 2012 - To implement Decision 1215/QĐ-TTg of the Prime Minister, approving the National Programme on Community-Based Social Assistance and Rehabilitation for People with Mental problems, 2011-2020 (the Programme 1215), the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), with support from the Atlantic Philanthropies and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is organising a national conference to guide the implementation of the Programme on 27-28 November in Da Nang City.
During the last few years, the Government of Viet Nam has developed many policies and plans to provide care and support to those in need of social protection, including people with mental illnesses. To date, there are about 10,000 people with severe mental illnesses living in 26 social protection centers in 20 provinces and cities. Within the framework of the Government Decrees 67/2007/NĐ-CP and 13/2010/NĐ-CP, another 200,000 people with severe mental illnesses living in families and communities received monthly allowances.
However, Viet Nam lacks facilities that are specialised for prevention and treatment of mental health disorders. The existing social protection centres only respond to 5 per cent of the specific needs of people with mental illness. These centres are mainly for providing residential care for them. Many of these centers are in poor condition. Most of the staff in these centers lack the skills and methodologies in providing appropriate care for people with mental illnesses. There are very few social workers and therefore psychosocial and social work services for people with mental health disorders are not available.
The Prime Minister has approved the National Programme on Community-Based Social Assistance and Rehabilitation for People with Mental problems 2011-2020, which consists of four main components: (1) strengthening social protection centers to provide care and rehabilitation for people with mental health problems; (2) establishing of community-based facilities for the prevention and treatment of people with mental disorders; (3) developing of human resources for community-based social assistance and rehabilitation of people with mental health problems; (4) improving public awareness on mental health.
“Mental disorders are a major public health issue. Large numbers of Vietnamese women and children are affected by mental health issues. The individual and societal costs of mental illnesses have been well documented. UNICEF, in partnership with other development partners, is supporting the Government to explore effective solutions to address this issue. Increasing collaboration among key sectors, especially between the health and social welfare sectors is crucial for strengthening mental health care systems in Viet Nam”, Mr. Jesper Moller, UNICEF Viet Nam Deputy Representative said at the conference.
“We need to renovate the mental health care system to provide integrated medical and social services that are community-based and relevant to the needs of people with mental illnesses. This is now time for ministries, sectors and provinces to develop a detailed plan of action to implement the Programme 1215”, said Mme. Pham Thi Hai Chuyen, Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
The objectives of the conference are to: (1) launch the implementaion of the national programme on social assistance and rehabilitation for people with mental disorders and mental illnesses, period 2011-2020; (2) raise the awareness of ministries, sectors and provinces on community-based social assistance and rehabilitation for people with mental disorders and mental illnesses; (3) recommend for community-based, hospital-based and social protection center-based models on care and rehabilitation for people with mental disorders and mental illnesses; (4) recommend cross-sectoral collaboration in mental health care; reaching an agreement among ministries, sectors and international development partners on the implementation of the Programme 1215 and the Master Plan of Action on restructuring the network of social care and rehabilitation centers for people with mental disorders and mental illnesses, period 2011-2020; (5) recommend human resource development programmes for mental health care.
Participants to the Conference include representatives from concerned Ministries such as MOLISA, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Planning and Investment; representatives of provinces including leaders of some provincial People’s Committee, Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Department of Health, Department of Finance, Department of Planning and Investment, social protection centers that provide care for people with mental illnesses, social work centers, mental health institutions; universities and international development partners.
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