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Reisverslag Great start of the ENUSP General Assembly in Hille
12 december 2014
Great start of the ENUSP General Assembly in Hille
After the introduction, we had some free time, and then around 18.00 a bus was waiting for us to have dinner at Orion, which is a restaurant within an sheltered living- and work center for persons with psychosocial disabilities. There, we had a nice dinner that was inspired by Christmas, including a cultural programme. First there was some singing and clapping, and then the former prime minister of Denmark, Mr. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen came and gave us a welcoming speech. It was actually very inspiring. He told us that he knew what we were dealing with. And he spoke about fundamental rights, that all people count, and he stated that mental health care should be based on love and hope, and that loneliness is bad for persons with psychosocial problems. He firmly stated that “Changing the system is possible. We can end forced treatments, and learn how persons get out of a crisis”. He was obviously dedicated to the subject, which was very good to see: a politician who speaks about love and hope, and who agrees on the need to end forced psychiatric treatments. It was very nice.
Later in the evening we returned to the hostel in Hillerod, and I spent some hours talking to my Norwegian friends, with whom I had a great time in Geneva earlier this year. And like always at these user/survivor meetings, we couldn’t stop talking to eachother, because we find so much recognition in eachother. It is delightful.
I was already lacking sleep when I arrived here, because I had a released my publication “16 years old, depressed and tortured” one day earlier, on international Human Rights Day, 10 December 2014. https://tekeertegendeisoleer.files.wordpress.com/2014/12/16-years-old-depressed-and-tortured-in-psychiatry.pdf
But I am not getting much sleep here either…
Today, 12 December 2014, the General Assembly (GA) of ENUSP officially started. First we were welcomed by Eric Olsen from LAP Denmark, the member organization of ENUSP, which is organizing this GA-conference. Then Piotr Iwaneyko, Chair of ENUSP also welcomed us, and then a round of introduction of delegates present was held, facilitated by Iris Holling (Berlin Association for the Protection against Psychiatric Violence).
It was a day full of formal procedures. First we, the delegates, adopted the Agenda by voting, and we approved the former report of the General Assembly in Thessaloniki in 2010. Then we were updated on the annual reports of ENUSP in 2011 and 2012, by Gabiela Tanasan. She briefly explaned what had been done by ENUSP in the past years: The ENUSP empowerment seminar “Nothing about us, without us” in Brussels, the ENUSP empowerment seminar ”From Strategy to Reality” in Zagreb in 2012, the ENUSP empowerment seminar “Strategy for empowerment – Key areas of action” in Bucharest in 2013, and the Strategic plan 2012-2015 of ENUSP. This clearly shows the development of ENUSP. Funding remains a tough issue. Also, there have been some changes in the ENUSP Board in the past years, often due to personal circumstances of Board members, and we should think about what we can do to get more continuation. Then Piotr Iwaneyko presented some more reports on activities in 2013 and 2014, such as the new google-group, and events and collaboration with for example the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Disability Forum (EDF). Then also Eric Olsen presented on the EDF participation, and the history of consultation with various organizations, and then we ended up discussing various options and ways to deal with less progressive partners (such as WHO). That was very interesting.
After a short break, Claus-Bech Nielsen, the bookkeeper, presented us the financial overview of ENUSP of 2011 to 2014, and then we officially voted to discharge the current Board members.
After that, we spent most of the day discussing and voting on the changes in the Statutes, which were proposed in writing and sent in advance. It took us almost all day to work through the Statutes, but eventually, almost all decisions were made with a large majority. Some sentences were deleted from the Statutes, and most of the proposed changes were adopted. We really had some interesting discussions on several issues, such as the balance between general and detailed descriptions regarding ENUSPs activities, and on the description of a balanced allocation of voting rights of member organizations and individual members within a country. Iris Holling and Stephanie Wooley did a really great job in facilitating this part of the programme. We had a good balance in the depth of discussions and the concrete voting. And there were enough breaks, so everyone could participate even though it took quite a lot of time. It was very well organized. Eventually the revised Statutes were adopted nearly unanimously. By then it was around 18.00.
At 18.15 we proceeded with Regional Meetings, meaning discussions with smaller groups corresponding to the regions within ENUSP (North East, South West, Central Europe etcetera). Since I am from the Netherlands, I was in the North-West Region. We were with 11 people, and we had 1 hour to discuss who we would nominate as a candidate for the ENUSP Board. Initially I felt like I shouldn’t be a candidate, because I am already having a lot of work, and I am already a Co Chair in the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (WNUSP, www.wnusp.net) and I wasn’t sure whether more diversity would be better. During the meeting however, it was said to be an advantage to make a visible link between ENUSP and WNUSP. And when I was asked, I said that I would need a strong deputy to share the work with, because it might happen that I am not available all the time, so I would need to be able to share the work then. Also Rene, John and Sean were a candidate in the North West region. We then voted by secret ballots. I was basically nominated unanimously to be a candidate Board members for the European Network of (Ex-) Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (ENUSP), and then of course, I decided to accept this nomination. It is really nice to get so much support. On Sunday the voting will take place. I am looking forward to it :)
After the regional meetings, at 19.30, we had a nice dinner in the hostel, and after that everyone was chilling. It is so great that we all share the same interest. We can talk about psychiatry for days (and nights) with each other, and we don’t even get bored of it contrary to many other people. It is very special, inspiring and interesting to have these philosophical and practical conversations here, and to learn from each other, and to be inspired. THIS is empowerment for me. I feel so understood here, and it gives me more power, more strength and energy. So yes, it is once again great to be with ENUSP.
And now it’s incredibly late, and I should sleep the couple of hours that are left (I will need energy tomorrow as well). I feel great!
13 december 2014 21:24 | Door: Christien vd Ven
Pas goed op jezelf en op je werkdruk!