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Author: Social Platform

Mental Health Europe: 100+ organisations & individuals call for a new mental health paradigm

More than 100 organisations and individuals in Europe and beyond have voiced their support for the United Nations Special Rapporteur’s report on mental health which calls for a shift away from isolating mental health services which are coercive and inappropriately medicalised to ones that are recovery- and community-based and promote social inclusion. An open letter, initiated by Mental Health Europe and the British Psychological Society, has now been issued, calling for concerted international action to implement the Special Rapporteur’s recommendations. What does the letter say? The letter welcomes and endorses in the strongest possible terms the report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Mr. Dainius Pūras, which highlights that mental health has been a forgotten issue for far too long, leaving too many people to suffer human rights abuses within mental health services. The letter endorses the positive messages for a global approach to health and psychological wellbeing which moves away from the medicalisation of mental health and ensures the participation of diversity of rights-holders and relevant stakeholders including users and survivors of services, civil society and communities and empowers them. The letter recalls that health is also a matter of social justice. Inequalities, poverty and abuse all impact on our physical and mental health, and the solutions are also political and social as well as technical. What does the report say? “The history of psychiatry and mental health...

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Caritas Europa: Legal and safe access to Europe is key to ending plague of trafficking in persons

Statement on occasion of World Day against Trafficking in Persons, 30 July Europe cannot continue to look away from the plague of trafficking. Every child and adult who is trapped in this form of modern-day slavery, framed in fear, abuse and threat, is one victim too many. For many, the idea of returning home from where they fled or even getting killed is more horrendous than remaining in enslavement. For trafficked children, it is even worse; growing up trafficked transforms one’s personality and life reality, as the entrapped state becomes normalised. Europe must put an end to this. Safe and legal pathways to Europe can play a key role in eradicating this criminal activity! “In Europe, the situation of non-accompanied minors who disappeared days after being placed in reception centres attracted some media attention not so long ago. But their situation is just the top of a tragic iceberg that Europe must address very urgently,” said Geneviève Colas, Caritas Europa’s expert in trafficking in human beings. When forced to migrate and leave their homes, families become instable as they lose their safety nets. Children migrating, especially when alone, are particularly vulnerable and frequently exploited by traffickers. Sometimes, organisations, such as Caritas, succeed in reaching out to the victims, but the mobility capacity of the trafficking networks across Europe is becoming increasingly more flexible and efficient. We need more legal...

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Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union: iEPSCO – EU ministers discuss measures of work-life balance

Under the aegis of the Estonian Presidency, EU social protection and labour ministers will be exchanging views and best practices at the Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel) regarding how member states can support people in finding ways to balance work and private life. Today, 19 July, the discussions focused on finding solutions that could give people better opportunities for starting a family and taking care of relatives while also being active in the labour market. Tomorrow, 20 July, the ministers will discuss men’s role in care responsibilities. “On the one hand, people expect to receive flexible solutions in order to organise their time between work and family. On the other hand, of course, employers are mostly interested in earning a profit,” said Minister for Health and Labour Jevgeni Ossinovski. “People usually prefer to work for an employer who offers them better solutions for reconciling work, family, and private life. In addition, this will make the employer more attractive to people looking for a job as well.” Ministers exchanged views and best practices and explained the different measures taken in order to face the challenges that come with the new forms of living and working. Modern work-life balance measures require a harmony between the needs of the employees and the capacity of the employers. “Our current work-life balance measures mainly address classical family types and working models, and usually women are...

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