Vol.18  No.424 Tuesday Edition, April 24, 2018 Third news page
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National Psychiatric Hospital closes
its asylum for abandoned patients

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The psychiatric hospital officially closed its asylum program Monday. The asylum program was to provide support to people who had been abandoned.

The closure is a response to the relocation of 109 patients to alternative programs, including a national program for the disabled and the National Council of the Elderly.

The relocation of these people is possible thanks to the inter-institutional coordination led by the Social Presidential Council, where the vice ministry of Human Development and Social Inclusion, the National Psychiatric Hospital, the national council for the disabled, the council on the aged and the Costa Rican Social Security Fund worked jointly to provide inclusion to people with mental illnesses and those who were abandoned by their relatives in this medical center.

The closing of the Asilar section of the psychiatric hospital was carried out within the framework of execution of the National Policy of Comprehensive Care for People in Situation of Abandonment and People in Street Situation 2016-2026 where, in addition, it has been supported by the Ministry and Vice Ministry of Labor and the General Directorate of the Fund for Development and Family Allowances to finance the policy.

The people who have graduated from the long-stay asylums will have inter-institutional and interdisciplinary follow-up by the various councils and the National Psychiatric Hospital, through visits to the alternatives in which they were relocated, as well as intensive evaluations during the first three months of their stays.

These actions are intended to provide accompaniment to their medical and community insertion processes.

Vice President Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría praised each of the institutions that participated in the process for their efforts in reaching the goal of relocating 100 percent of the abandoned patients in the National Psychiatric Hospital.

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A.M. Costa Rica wire services photo      
Long-term resident patients will be relocated to family members, friends or specialized institutions.

"This is a historical debt that we are paying off. It is a process that we managed to articulate and conclude through political wills, where each of the parties paved the way to give this population the possibility of having a better quality of life. Therefore, I highlight this work that finally put face to hundreds of people who have been treated as if they did not have it. The commitment acquired through this policy is the guarantee to continue generating social inclusion."

In order to achieve the relocation of the abandoned people in specialized shelters, more than ₡1.96 billion was invested. The Mixed Institute of Social Assistance allocated ₡540 million to subsidize families with people at risk of abandonment. This process took place from July 2016 to March 2018.

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