Community services

KMT MP calls for more community services for the mentally ill

Taipei, March 8 (CNA) Kuomintang lawmaker Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said on Tuesday that he plans to push for amendments to an existing law that will provide better community support for mentally ill people and their families.

At a press conference, Lin said he was working with a coalition of more than 10 civil society organizations that support patients with mental disabilities and would soon propose a draft amendment to the health law. mind based on their advice.

According to Lin, an amendment to the bill proposed by the Executive Yuan in January fails to provide substantial support for mentally ill patients and their family members who often act as caregivers.

Instead, the bill focuses on the involuntary hospitalization of people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses, added Lin, who is one of the organizers of the Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee at the Legislative Yuan.

Lin said his proposal will include measures to address the needs of mentally ill patients and their families, adding that “one person’s illness affects the entire household.”

These measures include establishing community psychiatric facilities across Taiwan and a hotline for mentally ill people and their families to provide long-term, immediate services with government funding, Lin said.

While Lin’s proposal is yet to be finalized, coalition members who attended the press conference said it was important to set up the hotline as it will provide accessible services to the large number of patients. with mental illness and their families at relatively low cost.

Although the Cabinet Bill mentions the creation of community-level services, it lacks specifics to meet the needs of mentally ill people and their families, the coalition said, adding that services should include counselling, day-to-day support , as well as the organization of social activities. and even vocational training.

(By Teng Pei-ju)

End Article/AW