jueves, 2 de noviembre de 2017

Jaime Fernandez, President FEARP.

Jaime A. Fernandez, President FEARP.

Not long ago, I returned to visit the old Psychiatric Hospital of Gran Canaria with students of Psychiatry and Psychology (MIR and PIR) as part of a seminar on History of mental health care. The story of the director of the facilities (a person who accumulated more than 30 years of work in that place) told tricky stories. He said "in past times we were afraid, of the patients; to enter a cell we needed five guards behind a mattress"; or also that "we caused an infection that gave fever to be able to contain them, there was no other way to lower the agitation". The visit to the Psychiatric Hospital took us to another century.

After the visit, a seminar on the current mental health network was given. We experienced a vertiginous jump from 1985 until today. The enumeration of the services created in the last 30 years dizzied the students: services for health (USM, UIB, HD, ETAC, etc.), services for social health (CRPS), social services (CD, residential, work, etc). But the biggest jump in time is the relationship between professionals and patients, now more horizontal. Today people with mental health problems give us lectures, participate in our seminars as trainers, organize events and activities together with us, participate in the decision making of the devices, etc. In Spain there is a model of community mental health care, assertive, the provides psychotherapy, attention at home, health and social care, etc. There is still much to be done and to improve, but giant steps have been taken toward the dignity and effectiveness of care.

Students visiting the Old Psychiatric Hospital in Gran Canaria.

In this transformation, Psychosocial Rehabilitation programs have played a fundamental role incorporating the functional approach. Today no one disputes that Psychosocial Rehabilitation is a fundamental strategy in the treatment of mental health problems and that it has contributed the main advances of the decade in addressing serious mental disorders (such as some evidence-based interventions: family interventions, vocational, neurocognitive, etc.)

Madrid, headquarters of the XIII WAPR 2018 Congress, has played a prominent role in the national development of Psychosocial Rehabilitation. The Madrid network has been an organizational reference. The different Spanish autonomous administrative territories have adopted different types of rehabilitation networks according to their autonomic context, with greater or lesser fidelity, or as an alternative model to Madrid, but always with it as a reference.

The service network in Madrid has also been an example of collaboration between professionals from different administrations (health and social) as well as public and private management. There are four different approaches (health-social, public-private) that have generated multiple debates about the effectiveness of their management, but that seem destined to live together and to understand each other. The 13th WAPR Congress will be an occasion to reflect on all these achievements and the path taken by Psychosocial Rehabilitation in Spain and around the world.

In addition, the XIII WAPR 2018 Congress, as its president R. Guinea has said, pays tribute to a whole generation of professionals, mental health workers and pioneers of psychosocial rehabilitation.

I am a clinical psychologist, and as such I have been witness for decades of the thrust of a progressive psychiatry (which includes all types of mental health professionals) in defense of the dignity of the patients. A movement that has fought, researched and worked to improve the effectiveness of treatments and has spearheaded the defense of the rights of the people affected. Social psychiatry, which was the germ of the WAPR in 1985 and of the FEARP in 2001, together with other groups (AEN, etc.), led in its day the process of the Psychiatric Reform in Spain.

As president of FEARP www.fearp.org) I encourage professionals from all over the world to participate in the XIII WAP 2108 Congress in Madrid, because it will be the privileged place to debate and get infected with the experiences in Psychosocial Rehabilitation that have arisen throughout the world .

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