HFHR workshops in Armenia
In March, HFHR trainers Aleksandra Iwanowska and Dr Agnieszka Kłosowska led a training course on the monitoring of facilities for persons with mental disorders, persons with an intellectual disability and for the elderly in Yerevan, Armenia. The course was co-organised by the Open Society Foundations. The event was attended by members of two monitoring groups newly created by the Armenian Ministers of Health and of Social Policy.
“The course focused on the key exercisable by hospitalised psychiatric patients and clients of social care institutions, the basic principles and phases of monitoring, as well as the applicable rules of ethics”, says Agnieszka Kłosowska. “This knowledge is important as it is impossible to monitor the respect for human rights while violating these rights during monitoring activities”, she adds.
The creation of monitoring groups is a part of the initiative taken by Armenian authorities and non-governmental organizations to replace institutional psychiatric care with community care programmes an attempt to strengthen the public oversight of the situation of patients of psychiatric institutions.
Before the training course, HFHR experts met representatives of both Ministries. “All in attendance agreed that improving the situation of persons with mental disorders in Armenia should be a priority of the health and social policies implemented by the authorities”, Dr Iwanowska emphasizes.