The meeting entitled “Treating Psychosis with Dignity”, held on 13th October 2015, was attended by a large number of trainees, students, mental health service users, relatives of people with mental illness, and mental health professionals. It was organized by “KINAPSI” the Movement for the Siblings of People with Mental Health Problems (www.kinapsi.gr), and took place in the “Antonis Tritsis” Amphitheatre of the Organization for Culture, Sport and Youth, of the Municipality of Athens.
Extensive reference was made to World Mental Health Day 2015, the theme of which is Dignity in Mental Health.
Participants heard about current issues and the problems faced by the much troubled Mental Health Sector in Greece, from Mental Health Professionals – Professor George Christodoulou, the psychiatrists Dimitris Ploumpidis, Dimitris Kontis, Evaggelos Katsioulis, the psychologist Giannis Chrysopoulos, and the Mental Health Counselor Eirini Vamvakari.
There was an informative session on the current and developing situation in other European countries. Speakers included Mr Spyros Zorbas, Board Member of EUFAMI, and the invited speaker from Belgium, Mr. Paul Arteel from the alliance of Mental Health Service users, GAMIAN Europe.
Mr Menelaos Theodoroulakis, Ph.D (Social Policy), presented the course of psychiatric reform in Greece, and made reference to the burnout experienced by many of the people working in the Mental Health Sector in Greece.
The MH professionals Mr Achilleas Vasilikopoulos, Mr Panagiotis Dimou, Ms Gianna Lytra, and the MH service user Mr Giorgos Kesisoglou from the NGO “Symplefsi” presented their innovative approach to intervention in the homes of people with mental illness. Mrs Natassa Vasilaki, in the dual capacity of MH service user and professional, summarized the issues addressed by the meeting, and raised the matter of the right to parenthood, while Mr Nikos Apostolou, philologist and MH service user presented his experience and some reflections on the issue of living with dignity whilst suffering from a mental illness.
The meeting was chaired by Mr Evaggelos Asprogerakas, an active proponent of humane mental health services.
The meeting was held under auspices of the Municipality of Athens, the Organization for Culture, Sport and Youth, of the Municipality of Athens, the Ministry of Health, and the “Year of the Brain” Initiative of the European Brain Council.