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Mapping and Understanding Exclusion: Institutional, coercive and community-based services and practices across Europe

Turnpenny, Agnes and Petri, Gabor and Finn, Ailbhe and Beadle-Brown, Julie and Nyman, Maria (2018) Mapping and Understanding Exclusion: Institutional, coercive and community-based services and practices across Europe. Project report. Mental Health Europe, Brussels, Belgium 10.22024/UniKent/01.02/64970. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02/64970) (KAR id:64970)


This report entitled “Mapping and Understanding Exclusion- Institutional, coercive and community-based services and practices across Europe’’ is a new and expanded edition of Mental Health Europe’s 2012 Mapping Exclusion report. The report was put together by the University of Kent and Mental Health Europe (MHE), with the help of MHE members and partner organisations, and with support from the Open Society Mental Health Initiative and the European Union’s Rights Equality and Citizenship Programme. The report aims to capture updated and more comprehensive information on European countries’ mental health laws, the use of involuntary or forced placements and treatments, the practice of seclusion and restraint, as well as emerging issues in the mental health field in Europe. In mapping mental health systems across Europe, the report also sheds light on the situation of human rights for people who use mental health services and people with psychosocial disabilities. This time around there is a special focus on the stories of people who have experienced institutionalisation and coercion in mental health services which we hope will contribute to a more profound understanding of the exclusion these individuals face in society.

The report shows that while the situation described in 2012 has changed somewhat, there is still a substantial number of people with mental health problems living in institutions across Europe and in need of community-based services. Although reforms have taken place, the report shows that there are several barriers such as the poor cooperation between social and health authorities, lack of human rights compliant community-based services, trans-institutionalisation and austerity. Furthermore, in recent years deinstitutionalisation has been painted as a largely Central and Eastern European issue, however institutions exist in many Western countries as well, including France, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Germany, where tens of thousands of people with mental health problems are still living and where little is being done about this situation. In Central and Eastern Europe, the implementation of EU-funded deinstitutionalisation programmes has been slow, and there are limited data about the actual outcomes of these programmes for people with mental health problems.

The personal testimonies which were graciously provided by people with lived experience of coercive measures and collected for this report show that involuntary placement and treatment can have long-term and devastating effects on people’s lives. Lack of information before and during admission, poor physical conditions, forced medication with severe side effects, the absence of legal aid, physical and emotional harm, social and physical isolation, and stigma all featured in personal testimonies of ex-users and survivors.

In the previous Mapping Exclusion report in 2012, several countries were planning or implementing progressive – and promising – legal capacity reforms. However, by 2017 our report found that only some countries have actually changed their relevant laws and practical implementation of supported decision-making remains wanting almost everywhere. Overall the evidence collected in this report shows that the human rights issues facing people with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities both within and outside of mental health services should still be of great concern.

Item Type: Reports and Papers (Project report)
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02/64970
Projects: Mapping and Understanding Exclusion – Revised Edition
Uncontrolled keywords: mental health systems; deinstitutionalisation, community-based services, coercive practices
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV59 Institutional care/home care
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Funders: [UNSPECIFIED] Foundation Open Society Institute
Depositing User: Agnes Turnpenny
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2017 10:40 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Turnpenny, Agnes.

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Petri, Gabor.

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Beadle-Brown, Julie.

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