The Conference is:
an agency that provides advice and technical assistance to institutional entities involved in positive initiatives in the field of mental health. Its functions include:
- initiating new advanced training courses for professionals involved in mental health policies;
- creating specialized teams to assist in transformation projects or service development;
- promoting exchanges aimed at increasing the visibility of experiences based on best practices.
A laboratory for developing a critic reflection on issues related to mental health, inclusion/exclusion, socio-health integration and sustainable human development through:
- establishing an archive of basic texts;
- publishing educational and informational texts;
- promoting a permanent debate in order to oppose reductionist ideologies.
A global observatory. Among the Conference’s aims is the mapping of policies and practices for the protection of mental health in different countries.
The Conference: why?
Between the extremes of abandonment and the continued existence of asylums in most of the world, psychiatry has fragmented into a marked heterogeneity of theoretical and practical approaches. These approaches offer pre-formatted solutions, whose pretensions of scientific legitimacy leave aside any serious public debate on the existing problems.
In psychiatry, and in healthcare and welfare systems generally, the effectiveness of interventions disregards the ability to respond to the needs of those for whom those interventions were provided.
In a global context in which social inequality is on the increase and a general sense of uncertainty prevails, the mentally ill continue to be one of the most persecuted minorities in modern times.
Over the last few decades, while radical changes have taken place in the psychiatric institutions of various countries around the world, in many other countries there has been no change or it has taken place in a manner which is unacceptable.
Positive experiences have been supported by movements, intellectuals, professionals, elected officials and administrators who have committed themselves to creating a culture that is critical of the current nature of institutions and political and healthcare policies, and which defends the rights of the most vulnerable social groups while opposing forms of knowledge that underpin institutions based on exclusion.
This broad movement has been influenced by a general demand for more freedom and the tangible acquisition and exercise of rights, and has influenced this demand in turn. Networks, relationships and knowledge have been created and exchanged among groups and experiences that can and should be more highly valued and recognised.