Following a survey of its members, Denmark’s biggest mental illness organisation Bedre Psykiatri is calling for a new psychiatric treatment action plan to deal with what it calls a “huge failure” in dealing with acute patients.
The survey found that a third of the relatives of mentally-ill people said their relative had been denied treatment at a psychiatric emergency room, and two-thirds said their relative was forced to leave without adequate help or treatment.
Birgit Elgaard, the head of Bedre Psykiatri, finds this unacceptable.
“The study shows that the system is letting down the sick and their relatives. It is terrible they cannot count on help when an acute crisis in their psychiatric disorder breaks out. At a time when more and more psychiatric treatment is being moved to outpatient wings, I think that it’s frightening there isn’t a proper safety net,” she said.
“There is a need for a new action plan for psychiatry, which among other things includes an acute package that steps up the psychiatric emergency treatment. Politicians need to ensure there are enough acute bed places and resources to help when people are sick and cannot live at home anymore. There aren’t at the moment, and that is in my eyes something that really flashes red in psychiatry.”