EUFAMI Position Paper on Coercive Practice in Mental Health Services

Coercive practice, such as involuntary admission and coercive measures, such as seclusion, restraints and forced medication, are used in mental health services in all European countries. Compulsory treatment in the community is used in some countries. The rates of involuntary hospitalisations in Europe differ between countries[1].

EUFAMI believes that coercive practice, even when used as a necessary last resort based on national law, is essentially the failure of mental health services to respond with non-coercive alternatives.

In order to minimize coercive practice in mental health, training should be mandatory on topics of de-escalation skills, human rights, medical ethics, mental health legislation, alternatives to involuntary admission and use of coercive measure as well as on recovery culture.

Coercive practice should only occur as a last resort in circumstances when no less restrictive alternative will respond adequately to the risk of physical harm to the person themselves or others.

1] Marie Chieze1, Samia Hurst2, Stefan Kaiser1 and Othman Sentissi1, “Effects of Seclusion and Restraint in Adult Psychiatry: A Systematic Review”

If you wish to view the full paper on EUFAMI’s position on Coercive Practices in Mental Health Services, please click here.

EUFAMI Newsletter Vol. II, February 2023

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