Patients Trustees

1,000 Euro Prize 2011

Country: Czech Republic

Region: Implemented nationwide

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Disability, Health, Mental health

Project owner: CivicAssociation of users of psychiatric care KOLUMBUS

Responsible person: Mgr. et Mgr. Lucie Rybová

What is it about?

(Ex) psychiatric patients are now working as Patient Trustees and are currently at work in 11 psychiatric hospitals and departments in various regions of the Czech Republic. The 27 Patient Trustees are specially trained and visit patients every 2 months to inform them about their rights, establish contact with the outside world, offer support with emotional and socio-legal problems and check the human rights situation in the psychiatric hospitals. There are also three lawyers available if required. According to an evaluation in 2009, more than 2/3 of patients are (very) satisfied with the work of their Patient Trustees.

Appreciation of the Jury

Patient rights will be monitored by specially trained (ex) patients and the psychiatric patients themselves and the care staff will be informed about the rights of patients in psychiatry. With their on-site visits, the Patient Trustees help to break through the latent isolation of psychiatric patients and help to counteract the need for hospitalisation. Professionally organised self-empowerment combined with concrete assistance inclduing legal representation, if required. Fantastic! We hope the scheme will continue and be extended.