Mental health reform in Belgium

Original good practice from the PUBLIC HEALTH Best Practice Portal

First best practice that is being implemented within the ImpleMENTAL JA is Mental Health Reform in Belgium.

The whole idea of Belgian mental health reform is based on the principle of deinstitutionalization, i.e., the transition from care primarily provided in institutions (hospitals and clinics) to community-based care in order to improve mental health outcomes and quality of life and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. In addition, the reform is based on the principles of rehabilitation and inclusion, decategorization, i.e., multisectoral cooperation, strengthening care in hospitals to make stays shorter, but with more intensive treatment, and the principle of consolidation, providing funds for pilot projects. These principles are also the general objectives of the reform itself.

According to this model, mental health care includes:

– Prevention of mental disorders, promotion of mental health, early detection, screening, and diagnosis;

– Mobile teams (crisis teams) that provide intensive treatment in the user’s environment for both acute and chronic conditions;

– Rehabilitation teams aimed at recovery and inclusion in society;

– Intensive care in psychiatric hospitals or psychiatric wards for people with acute or chronic conditions

– Special housing communities.

The implementation of Belgian good practice, within the ImpleMENTAL JA, is the responsibility of Work Package 5 (WP5). The tasks of this work package include a number of activities aimed at supporting participating countries in organizing sustainable community-based mental health services based on cross-sectoral cooperation. users, but also the establishment of services for the promotion and prevention of mental health.

You can find out more about this best practice on the PUBLIC HEALTH Best Practice Portal.

Poster: Belgian MH services reform
WHO EURO (2018) Good Practice Brief: Multisectoral MH networks in BE