Approximately 5,000 persons with severe mental illnesses are detected in Moldova each year. There are now about 80,000 persons with severe mental illnesses and mental disorders who are under the supervision of a mental health specialist. Mental health and behavioral disorders in 2020 were the leading cause of disability. The authorities are concerned about such a situation that reveals serious shortcomings in prevention and prompt intervention to help the person at the incipient stage. In public consultations, the Parliament’s commission on social protection, health and families presented a new bill on mental health and wellbeing, IPN reports.
In the consultations, the head of the Mental Health Department of Nicolae Testemițanu State University of Medicine and Pharmacy Jana Chihai, representative of the Moldovan-Swiss project Mensana, said that the reform of the mental health serviced started in 2014. Before the reformation, psychiatric assistance was provided in three psychiatric hospitals and in psychiatric offices of consultative units, in the case of ambulatory services. The psychiatric assistance services started to develop together with the appearance of community mental health centers in each district. There are now 40 such centers that are financed by the National Health Insurance Company and three psychiatric hospitals. The human resources continue to be a problem as there are now two psychiatrists per 100,000 people at a time when the European average is 5:100,000. There are districts where there is no psychiatrist.
The Moldovan-Swiss project Mensana – Support for the Reform of Mental Health Services in Moldova - which is implemented by the Trimbos Institute - the Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction, was launched also in 2014. The third stage of the project now starts and this is decisive as it is the last stage. The project helped to increase the number of visits to mental health centers, to psychiatrists, psychologists and social assistants. There was created a national network of community mental health service providers that ensure equitable access to integrated and accessible services of a high quality, according to the needs of beneficiaries.
In this connection, MP Liliana Grosu presented the bill on mental health and wellbeing that brings a new approach in the filed by protecting and promoting mental health at national level. It defines the goals concerning the digitization and innovation in mental health, training of competent specialists who are to be engaged in the provision of such services and of those involved in the process of involuntary admission of persons with mental health and behavioral disorders.
The initiative provides that mental health services should be provided based on the freely expressed wish and an individualized assistance plan centered on the needs of the person, designed by a multidisciplinary mental health team. When it is adopted, the law will regulate the voluntary and involuntary admission procedures and the medical treatment applied in psychiatric hospitals.