It is the Action Plan for the implementation of mental health care in the capital city of Prague for the period 2022-2023. It will be approved by the Prague council in September. The action plan has its foundations in the long-term strategy adopted in May of this year.
The management of the capital city is aware of the high burden of Prague residents in the area of mental health. According to available sources, more than a fifth of the population experiences mental illness each year, but more than half of these people do not receive any professional help or treatment. According to data from the Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic from 2019, there were Approximately 130,000 residents of the city of Prague are treated in this way on an outpatient basis (in the whole of the Czech Republic, it is about 640,000).
Although it has been possible to significantly strengthen the capacity of the network of social and health services in Prague over the past three years, for example by building five mental health centers and other community services, the scope of assistance still does not correspond to the needs of the citizens of Prague. The situation was also worsened by the covid-19 pandemic, and mental health is negatively affected by, among other things, Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, and it can be expected that the energy and economic crisis will also have a negative impact on the health of the population.
“Prague has been actively involved in the reform of mental health care in the last three years. Thanks to this, we are the only region with a network of mental health centers throughout the territory, or field social teams. On the reform of mental health care, we cooperate with the Ministry of Health and the Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital, with whom we concluded memorandums in previous years, and based on this, we take concrete steps for the benefit of Prague residents with mental illness, such as the development of specialized multidisciplinary teams or the development of a network of community residential services at the territory of Prague,” said Milena Johnová, councilor City of Prague for social policy and healthcare.
The action plan follows on from a longer-term strategic document created as part of a national mental health care reform project. The material was prepared by a working group consisting of representatives of the health, social affairs and education departments of the City Hall. city of Prague. Support during the preparation was provided by experts in the field of mental health from the Metropolitan Health Service, a contribution organization of the capital city, which, among other things, ensures the coordination of mental health care and health prevention in the territory of the metropolis.
The action plan provides measures for people with serious mental illness, for people with dementia, children and young people or residents in a psychosocial crisis situation. Other topics then follow the necessary support of caring families, the defense of the rights of people with mental illness and the quality of services, the topic of human resources in helping professions, prevention in the field of mental health and also the necessary coordination of the care system. For each of these nine areas, measures, their implementers and cooperating entities, deadlines for implementation, costs needed to implement the measures and indicators of the implementation of the measures are defined. In addition, the action plan also includes current challenges, such as mental health support for refugees from Ukraine.
“It is great that in the field of mental health of Prague residents, the capital city now has both a long-term strategic outlook until 2030, as well as an action plan that defines specific measures for the next two years and is based on the latest approaches in care. The document adopted today is focused on specific necessary steps in 2022-2023, which primarily includes the development of new services that are so lacking, but at the same time it monitors priorities within the entire care system, such as the lack of professional workers or better protection of rights and quality of care. I believe that clearly defined measures will lead to an improvement in the setting of the care system and, in the resulting impact, to an improvement in the quality of life of the citizens of Prague in the area of mental health,” added Milena Johnová.