The Second National Conference on Mental Health, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Health, will be held in Rome on June 25-26. Pope Francis addressed participants in the two-day online conference with a video message urging health workers involved in treating the mentally ill to do their sacrificial work with personal care and tenderness, and not to leave anyone in need of care.
P. Vértesaljai László SJ – Vatican
Patients should be cared for in their general context
The commitment of professionals to help people with mental disorders through the use of appropriate treatments is very beneficial to patients and society as a whole. So it is critical that they become more aware of the professional and human requirements for care, says the Pope’s message. This is because patients felt more vulnerable about the devastating psychological effects of the pandemic. It is therefore desirable to strengthen the health system to protect mental illness and help organizations involved in scientific research, care for patients and their families with the support of voluntary associations and organizations. Patient care should take into account the specific environment in which they live, which should not lack human warmth and love for society. Care must be directed at the patient as a whole, because caring for others is not just a job that requires skill, but a real task that is fully accomplished when scientific knowledge is presented alongside human tenderness, Pope Francis stated in a video message.
Patient stigma must be combated
The Pope’s message also hopes that the conference will heighten the sensitivity of professionals and institutions to those with mental health problems to awaken greater confidence in them in society. It is therefore necessary to combat the stigmatization of patients against a logic that measures man by his usefulness as a product. The pandemic has posed enormous challenges for health workers today, while at the same time showing that adequate healthcare is needed in order not to leave anyone alone but to take care of everyone in a comprehensive way. Finally, the Pope wishes the participants in the conference fruitful deliberations and asks God to bless them.
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