The next edition of the “Recovery Congress” is in preparation. The sixth congress will take place on May 30 and 31, 2024, as before on the grounds of the Inselspital in Bern under the title Psychiatry in Crisis – reshaping mental health services.
At first glance, the title may seem alarmist, since the term crisis is also being used more and more frequently in other contexts. This is in order to name difficult situations that have been looming for a long time and require drastic changes in habits of thought and action. In this respect, from our point of view, the term actually fits the situation in psychiatry. Staff shortages, quality losses, structures and concepts that are no longer up to date are increasingly the subject of professional discourse and publicity in the media. In addition, the situation in psychiatry is also being critically questioned by users and their relatives and the professionals themselves.
At the same time, mental health in large parts of society suffers from numerous stress factors and the accumulation of ecological, political and economic crises. Utilization of mental health services is increasing and often exceeds capacity, especially dramatically among children and adolescents. Psychiatric care and health policy have not yet found convincing answers to this asymmetry. The expansion of existing services often does not seem to meet the needs of those seeking help. Moreover, it leads to an over-expansion of services, which cannot be maintained in sufficient quality in the foreseeable future due to the existing staff shortage.
New approaches are therefore required that are not based on the established understanding of psychiatric care structures, but instead focus “out of the box” on the needs of people with mental stress and their environment. The focus should be on prevention, health promotion, early intervention and easily accessible support services beyond existing psychiatric support.
The 2024 congress will address this current topic and take a critical look at the psychiatric system. At the same time, new ideas and approaches for dealing with mental health, stress and illness will be designed and discussed. In a proven format, professional, social, activist, experienced and co-experienced perspectives on mental health, its impairment, recovery and strengthening will complement each other. We are already looking forward to numerous participants, active contributions, moving and stirring discussions.
The congress committee