7.8 Current debates and reforms
The Sixth State Reform
The institutional agreement of December 2011 on the sixth State reform, entitled ‘A more efficient federal State and more autonomous entities’, provides for substantial State reform that will take place over several stages. This State Reform has led to the transfer of competences from the federal level to the communities and regions. Communities are now responsible for family policy and also competences for mental health.
Draft act provides the foundation for the mental health care of the future
The Flemish Government has approved the draft act Mental Health on 14 September 2018. With this Act, the Flemish Minister of Welfare, Public Health and Family provides the foundation for the future organisation of the mental health care in Flanders. The act includes all existing regulation and legislation and the foundations of the Flemish Action Plan on Mental Health that is already under implementation. Concepts such as networking, functions and programmes but also experience experts play a key role.
Some central points are:
The fight against stigma and prejudice by increasing knowledge about mental health
Experience experts – people who have or had some mental health problems – have to play a more important role (in care and policy)
Mental health care – today still fragmented in sectors and governments – has to be organised in networks
A divide is made between different care levels: self-care and care of parents, partners, etc. as well as initiatives of informal care; generalist basic care; specialised mental health care.
A uniform terminology will be used in the networks