Health Care

240 mental health centers to be opened in Turkey

The Ministry of Health has presented a community-based mental health model aimed at improving hospital services for mental health patients and their families and has plans to raise the number of Community Mental Health Centers (TRSM) across Turkey to 240 by 2015. These centers will provide clinical assessment, monitoring and therapy for patients. The centers will also provide information for the families of mental health patients, mainly regarding treatment and the side effects of medication.

Moreover, skills trainings, group therapy, occupational therapy, vocational training and social and sports activities will be organized at these mental health centers.

Dr. Abdulkadir Tabo, the provincial health deputy director, whose responsibilities include directing mental health care centers in İstanbul, said psychiatric services in Turkey are provided to people with mental health needs by regional health hospitals, mainly attached to the Ministry of Health. “Long-term treatment of patients with frequent hospitalizations is known to negatively affect patients.

The basic approach of the new model proposed by the Ministry of Health is to identify the best treatment for these patients in the community and implement effective methods of inpatient treatment, in very limited circumstances. The main purpose of psychiatric treatment is to treat psychiatric symptoms and keep patients involved in social life, to improve patients' socialization skills and quality of life,” Tabo explained.

Tabo said that these centers will improve patients' sociability and their ability to hold a job. This will decrease the psychological, social and economic burdens of mental health disorders that currently burden sufferers, their families and society.

There are currently two TRSMs in İstanbul, each of which serves 300,000 İstanbul residents. The Ministry of Health plans to increase the number of TRSMs in İstanbul to 30, with work for new centers already begun in the districts of Pendik, Maltepe, Sultanbeyli, Küçükçekmece, Güngören, Beylikdüzü and Esenler.

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