The Ombudsman Institution puts particular emphasis on the rights of the most vulnerable persons. These also include persons with mental health problems, especially children. Ombudsman Peter Svetina is especially concerned about the increase in the need for (urgent) paediatric psychiatry hospital services, especially due to the lack of appropriate capacities for the treatment of children and adolescents with mental health problems, which poses a threat for them and violates their rights. Many people who are faced with mental health problems do not receive help in due time, the queues are too long, and there is a lack of psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, which is why the initial problems may develop into mental health problems. The decision-makers must urgently prepare everything required to increase the number of specialists who can provide the necessary aid. The question regarding the regulation of the psychotherapy area remains open.
The Ombudsman has called on the responsible persons many times to address the challenges concerning mental health problems, which is why he welcomes all the initiatives that provide opportunities for the appropriate safeguarding of the rights of people with mental health problems, especially children.
In the framework of the MIRA programme, the national mental health programme 2018 - 2028, the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) is establishing a network of Centres for the mental health of children and adolescents (CDZOM). It is intended to establish a uniform approach to the treatment of children and adolescents facing mental health problems, or even disorders on the primary healthcare level. This is why they have prepared a two-day training session aimed at the professional staff at the Centres for the mental health of children and adolescents, and they also invited the Ombudsman of the Republic of Slovenia to take part. Thus, the legal experts at the Ombudsman Institution, Mojca Sirk and Živa Cotič-Zidar, a Master of medical law, presented the broad legal area concerning the mental health of children to professionals at the Centres for the mental health of children and adolescents on Monday, 23 May 2022. The training session of professionals was organised by the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ).
“Vulnerable persons need the support of fully trained professionals. Only with the appropriate know-how and systematic organisation can we help them to exercise their rights, which is why I welcome the promotion of knowledge for better functioning,” noted Ombudsman Peter Svetina, as the representative of the National Human Rights Institution in Slovenia, the role of which is also to educate people on human rights.