III Festival of Mental Health Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programs in Russia

The annual Festival of Mental Health Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programs took place on 13 October in Saint-Petersburg, Russia. The Event was traditionally dated to the World Mental Health Day and was aimed at improving the health and well-being of people with mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities through the development of integrated mental health and social care community based services in Russia.

More than 400 Russian specialists in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation, including experts from various spheres of public health, psychiatry & psychotherapy, psychology & gerontology, occupational labor & social care, science & education, arts & sport &, as well as government, business & community sectors leaders (NGOs) introduced their best rehabilitation practices where they were assisted by 100 consumers of rehabilitation services and their family members.

The Festival agenda included the International Forum of Rehabilitation Programs; the Outsider Art Exhibition of Painting and Drawing delivered by people with mental health needs; the Arts, Music and Crafts master classes; the volunteer and socially responsible business mental health care programs.

The Festival resulted in creation of an integrated mental health platform for developing common approaches and broadcasting positive experiences in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation. Thus, the Festival participants developed a final resolution where they noted that making the integration of the mentally ill into society, psychosocial rehabilitation meets a multifaceted set of problems that depend on the level of the socio-economic development of a region, as well as on the degree of development of inter-disciplinary and inter-sectoral forms of cooperation between the psychiatry and non-specialized community settings. Therefore, they addressed the special attention to involvement of NGOs into the rehabilitation process as they represent the interests of a certain group of people with mental disabilities and successfully understand their needs. This allows NGOs to effectively perform both service providing functions, and intermediary functions between the government, society and business in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation where people with mental disorders and psychosocial disabilities in all their complexity and uniqueness are capable to play an active role in their own treatment and rehabilitation, and where these people are given a real opportunity to exercise their civil rights and preserve all the diversity of personal qualities.

The Festival had the great honor to receive the keynote reports from the leading international experts in the field of psychosocial rehabilitation including Professor Afzal Javed, President Elect of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) (United Kingdom); Professor Marianne C. Kastrup, Treasurer of the World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP) (Denmark); Dr. Henrik Wahlberg, Board member of World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR) (Finland); Esko Hänninen, Board member of WAPR (Finland); Audun Pedersen, Senior Adviser for Mental Health of the Department of Social Affairs, Housing and Local Development of the Municipality of Bergen (Norway).

The Festival was organized by the Union for Mental Health of Russia in cooperation with the Russian Society of Psychiatrists, the All-Russia Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Centers, the World Club of Petersburgers and the All-Russia Professional Psychotherapeutic League under patronage of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation.


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