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The Economic, Social and Environmental Council calls for the development of coordinated public policies and programmes

The Economic, Social and Environmental Council called for the development of coordinated public policies and programs to promote mental health and prevent mental disorders and psychosocial risks.

In a study prepared on the occasion of World Mental Health Day (10 October) on the topic of “Mental Health at the National Level”, with the aim of identifying the main imbalances that need to be addressed in the field of mental health policy, mental and psychological disorders and suicide prevention, the Council stressed that these public policies and programs It should be based on numbered and measurable indicators, and studies of impact on the health and social level.

In this study, which was prepared within the framework of a referral from the Prime Minister, the Council recommended reconsidering Draft Law No. 71.13 on combating mental disorders and protecting the rights of people affected by them, before ratifying it, in consultation with professional associations, unions of psychiatrists and psychologists. mental health nurses, patient associations and civil society.

He called for strengthening legal and judicial guarantees for people with mental disorders, taking into account their health conditions, and providing them with optimal protection, by better matching the requirements of criminal law and the Code of Criminal Procedure with the specifics and needs of mental illness.

The council also recommended intervention at the level of social and cultural determinants affecting the mental and psychological health of individuals: (combating discrimination in its various forms, violence, harassment, vulnerability, isolation, loneliness), and early monitoring of cases of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among children and young people in the family environment, and within educational and foster care institutions. out.

The Council also stressed the need to intervene at the level of psycho-social dangers in the occupational environment, by ratifying the International Labor Organization Convention No. 190 on eliminating violence and harassment in the world of work, developing labor medicine within companies, and reviewing the Labor Code in the direction of approving the crime of moral harassment. Reviewing the list of occupational diseases by including psychological and mental disorders related to working conditions.

He highlighted the importance of improving access to quality psychological and mental care, keeping pace with the development of knowledge and treatments, and responding to the special needs of patients, especially those related to age, social and economic status, living conditions and the forms of fragility they suffer from, as well as advancing the profession of psychologist through Establishing a clear and unified basic and tax system for this category, and establishing an official register of psychologists.

The Economic, Social and Environmental Council also recommended reviewing and updating the General Classification of Professional Work (NGAP) in the part related to the care of mental disorders and the related national reference tariff, in light of the medical developments in the field of treatment and care for this type of disorder, with care to apply a reasonable tariff. On the other hand, the Council stopped at a group of major constraints and imbalances recorded in the field of mental health policy, taking care of mental and psychological disorders and preventing suicide, as it indicated that, according to the national population survey from 15 years and over, 48.9 percent of Moroccans Suffer or have previously suffered from a mental or psychological disorder at some time.

He highlighted that, in contrast, “a significant shortfall is recorded in the number of human resources (454 psychiatrists) and hospital beds (2,431 beds), which indicates the weak investment of the state in the psychological care system,” recalling in this regard that, according to the data of the World Health Organization For the year 2021, the proportion of mental health allocations in national health budgets does not exceed 2 percent.

The study prepared by the Council also highlighted that “mental and mental health is dealt with in a sectoral manner and from the point of view of mental illness only. It is an approach that neglects the essential role of sociocultural determinants of health, such as degrees of familial and social violence, forms of discrimination against women, working conditions in the professional environment, means of protection for children, the elderly and persons with disabilities, and the persistence of social stigma and a negative view of people suffering from psychological and mental disorders.

In addition, the Council adds, there are deficiencies at the level of the legal framework and judicial experience in the field of mental and psychiatric diseases, noting that in addition to this are the difficulties associated with the judicial placement of people with mental disorders within treatment institutions, either for preventive or criminal reasons, especially before the judiciary Found in Clinical Energy and Structures of Mental and Psychiatric Medicine.

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