European mental health institutions fall 'far below the standard,' WHO reports

A new World Health Organization(WHO) report outlined where the current standards conflicted with guidelines laid out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability. The primary concern was that European mental health institutions fell "far below the standards," with no single institution meeting all of the standards of quality of care and human rights. A study carried out in 2017 in 75 institutions across 24 European nations were graded using 25 standards and 116 criteria. However, less than a third of the 2450 total ratings were at a satisfactory level, signaling the severe lack of adherence to the UN convention and the possible violation of the treaty. Of the more serious transgressions outlined in the report were the use of restraints to manage difficult behavious, sexual abuse of female patients, inadquete living conditions, restrictions on communications, and among other things. Dr. Sri Kalidindi, a spokeswoman for the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK, has said that the mistreatment of the most vulnerable people in society is unacceptable, and these methods of institutionalization not only deskills individuals, but is expensive and ineffective. With these results, WHO plans to work with European countries to deinstituionalize and expand community-based systems of mental health care, where specialized services, outreach programs and social and welfare services are offered. 

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