Mental health: a joint choice
Under the slogan Mental health: a joint choice, in the Ministry of Health today was held a formal event on the occasion of successfully finishing a project worth over MHRK 2.2 under the name Ensuring the Optimal Health Care for the People with Mental Health Problems – Technical Help Component. The project was funded in the framework of the European Union's Transition Facility for the Republic of Croatia. The project was implemented by Ericsson Nikola Tesla JSC and MCS Grupa Ltd for the needs of the Ministry of Health as the user and the Croatian Institute of Public Health as the end user.
Along with numerous project participants, the event was attended by Krunoslav Capak, MD, PhD, Director General at Croatian Institute of Public Health, and Gordan Žanić, assistant to the Minister of Health, as well as numerous prominent Croatian doctors and experts in the field of mental health.
At the conference, it was particularly highlighted that mental health problems and disorders are among current health priorities both in Europe and worldwide. In Croatia, their number suggests that they are one of the leading causes for the hospitalization of working age population and the leading cause when it comes to the duration of hospital treatments. Moreover, mental disorders are also one of the leading causes of disability in our country, making up for approximately 25 percent of these causes. The existing health care system for persons with mental health problems and disorders today is particularly focused on institutionalization and care provided through the hospital system, while more modern systems are focused on providing care at the community level, where health care moves away from large institutions and is oriented towards general hospitals, primary health care and local community. Due to its numerous positive effects on the health condition of patients, on the society and on the improvement of quality and the reduction of costs in the health care system, the European Union as well encourages the concept of providing care in the community.
Therefore, the objective of recently finished one-year project is to protect and improve mental health, including a more accessible and effective treatment process, the rehabilitation of persons with mental health problems as well as the increase of capacities in the community and raising public awareness on mental health issues. Through this project, a pilot system was established for monitoring, exchanging and distributing information on mental disorders, which will be implemented in a pilot environment of the western part of Zagreb, and it includes Vrapče Psychiatric Clinic, “Sveti Ivan” Psychiatric Hospital, Psychiatric Hospital for Children and Young People, Zagreb-Zapad Community Health Center, Mental Health Center and “Andrija Štampar” Teaching Institute of Public Health.
This system was established through an applicative pilot solution that supports the system for monitoring mental disorders, the exchange of information within the public health care system, and collaboration between all the stakeholders to improve the care provided to persons with mental health problems at the community level. Through a personalized web user interface and with a secure and controlled access, the pilot solution offers all the stakeholders tools and mechanisms for the exchange and distribution of information on mental disorders. Seeing as the solution enables the monitoring of the course and duration of hospitalization and the implementation of other aspects of care for persons with mental health problems in inpatient and outpatient treatment, i.e. in the community, the indicators collected in such way will also be used so that by comparing them, the effectiveness could be identified and health care for persons with mental health problems could be optimized.
Additional information: www.hzjz.hr/projekti-i-programi/
* Green is the color of mental health, commonly presented by a green ribbon (Mental Health Awareness Ribbon) in the shape of the letter V as the international symbol of raising awareness on the importance of mental health.