Comment le témoignage de Ricardo peut-il influencer l’élaboration des politiques de la santé mentale ?

This piece shows the lottery of birthplace: how much it determines life’s opportunities. Sadly, a breakdown at university is not unusual, but Ricardo is fortunate that good services are available in the community and regular sympathetic follow-up is offered, including good psychotherapy. The user organization has provided impressive support and opportunities, and national disability legislation successfully assisted integration.

These in themselves do not guarantee success, but they help. Early intervention and community-based mental health services offer people the chance of recovery. Self-respect, a theme of Ricardo’s story, is often damaged by coercive and neglectful services, as illustrated by many other stories.

As in so many instances, the individual’s resilience, his unwillingness to surrender to stigma and discrimination, seems decisive. This is also the core message of recovery. Services are ineffective if they address only symptoms. Self-respect and opportunities for social integration, as determined by the individual’s expectations, matter most.

Dr Matt Muijen, Regional Adviser, WHO/Europe