In 2017, the Department exercising the Human Rights Defender’s functions as a preventive mechanism paid unannounced visits to psychiatric institutions. The Defender will publish an ad hoc public report by the end of the year with a view to presenting the recorded issues in a comprehensive manner.
During the visits the representatives of the Office examined the conditions of people with health problems, protection of their rights, and the results were sent to competent authorities. At the same time, it was suggested to take necessary measures towards improving the living conditions of people with mental illnesses, protecting their rights, as well as presenting legislative and practical proposals for the resolution of those issues.
The examinations enabled to divide the revealed problems into two main groups, namely living conditions of people and organization of medical assistance and service.
There are concerns in respect of proper living conditions at establishments providing psychiatric assistance and service, including overcrowding, daily walks of people with mental problems, their external communication, absence of targeted activities and a number of other issues.
The second group of issues includes involuntary treatment at psychiatric institutions, compatibility of using repressive measures with the established principles, absence of alternative methods of treatment (besides drug treatment), insufficiency of employees, etc.