Dan Fisher

„Let’s rouse the hope, let’s search for solutions! New experts, new approaches, new experiences”. Summary of the conference Warsaw, 17-18.03.2015

On the 17-18th of March 2015 in Warsaw there was a conference „Let’s rouse the hope, let’s search for solutions! New experts, new approaches, new experiences”. The event was predicted to give a place for the public debate about actual state of polish mental health care system and about the role that people with experience of mental health problems do have within it. It also gave an opportunity to look into experiences of other european countries which have taken the challenge of deinstitutionalisation proccess.

Special guests of the conference were:

1. Dr Daniel Fisher – exceptional figure in American psychiatry, biochemist, psychiatrist, member of the White House Commission on Mental Health. Person who has recovered from schizophrenia, foundator of National Empowerment Center in US.

2. Dr Jan Pfeiffer – co-chair EEG, senior consultant Mental Health Europe, member of CPT.
Among participants in panel discussion were members of Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, National Health Fund, Agency of Medical Technologies Assesment.

During two days, lecture hall of University of Kardynal Stefan Wyszynski was a forum for a discussion on the vision of modern psychiatry. The event brought together practitioners, researchers, representatns of institutions involved in changes in polish psychiatry and beneficients of mental health care system. Two perspectives presented by foreign guests created a wide space for a fruitful discussion. Dr Jan Pfeiffer gave his lecture on deinstitutionalization process, described its stages, possibilities and limitations, whereas dr Daniel Fisher focused on the humanistic context of experiencing the crysis. He also gave his own testimony of the possibility of full recovery from mental heath illness.

Some of european countries have been providing deinstitutionalisation proccess since 25 years. Their experiences can be used as a reliable guide for the most effective and safe way for Poland adapting mental health system to the needs of patients and their families. Testimony of Daniel Fisher’s mental health crysis emphasize the need of changing the way of thinking about etiology of mental health diseases and about conditions that should be created to make full recovery possible.

Among all the prelegents there was a common agreement, that all the necessary changes are possible if we adopt new perspective for mental heath care system. In stead of the one focused on illness, hospitalization, isolation, stigmatization, we should think about new model – based of recovery, with an active role of person in a crysis with the family and social network involved.

Knowledge and needs of people who have experienced mental health problems should be used to enhance the process of systemic transformation. According to the words of the special guest of the event: „We have to involve the clients of mental health care system and their families into the process of change. It is us, who know what works – proffessionals are only guessing!” „Starting point of recovery process is hope. The only one person who believes in me, listen and really hear me – is enough to rouse the hope”.

The title and the content of lectures and speeches on the conference were chellenging especially for high decidents, holding in their hands both difficult task and trust of society. Listening to the voices of people experienced with psychological crysis and dealing with inadequacy of the system was equally difficult and important, indispencable to draw right conclusions. Taking up the challenge stands for their decision to join the dialogue with beneficients of mental health care system and to take action to make their statements reality.

Fundacja Polski Instytut Otwartego Dialogu
Tel.: 504 693 154
e-mail: fundacja@otwartydialog.pl