Long-stay mental health care institutions and the COVID-19 crisis: identifying and addressing the challenges for better response and preparedness

This report presents the results of a survey conducted by the Mental Health Programme, WHO Regional Office for Europe, with 169 long-stay institutions in the WHO European Region to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on services, staff, service users and residents with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities. Specific themes are how well the institutions were prepared for the crisis by authorities, the quality of communications within institutions and with service users and family members, the availability of personal protective equipment and challenges to the delivery of care, and the impact of the risk of infection and protective measures on staff and residents. The survey results are presented in four thematic sections through the lens of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The report also presents some preliminary key considerations.