Improving people’s psychological welfare is a priority

City Council has presented its plan for mental health 2016-2022, with over a hundred prevention and support measures aimed at people affected by mental disorders. The plan has been developed from all angles, with the participation of all parties involved.

For the first time ever Barcelona is to develop a mental health plan, to be rolled out between 2016 and 2022. The plan is a clear and direct strategy to develop policy for the improvement of mental health, with over a hundred measures to be taken by the municipal government.

The plan has been drawn up with input from all perspectives, the municipal government having started work in January along with entities, service providers, affected people and their families and various associations. The result is that all parties involved have been able to contribute on an issue which is often overlooked and which from now on will be a priority for the city.

The plan for mental health starts out with a budget or 51.2 million euros in its first year and is organised into four strategic areas: tackling social factors which affect mental health, guaranteeing accessible, safe and efficient services for all, in particular those most vulnerable, guaranteeing rights are respected and ensuring the plan is rolled out properly.

Some of the hundred measures outlined in the plan involve boosting and updating mental health support facilities, increasing mental health services and strengthening the programme for personalised service, promoting the figure of the educator in the street and including mental health entities in access to housing for social inclusion entities.

Mental health, a priority for the municipal government

The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, presided over the presentation asserting “it’s a city matter”, where “there are mental health issues which could be avoided, such as evictions, unemployment and cuts”. The Mayor explained that the plan intends to design a strategy to “reduce suffering among our people to the maximum”.

The Deputy Mayor for Social Rights, Laia Ortiz, was also at the presentation of the plan and observed: “Barcelona has never had a plan such as this before”. The Commissioner for Health, Gemma Tarafa, explained the measures and objectives of the plan in more detail: “Some 12% of the population will be, or has been, affected by some sort of mental health issue at some point in their lives, and we need to bear this in mind. This plan places the emphasis on children and adolescents, which is the key to prevention”.