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Last updated 07.18.99
Human rights and social
Expert examination
Law making

Human rights and social activities. Numerous connections of IPA with medical, humanitarian and human rights societies, religious organizations of different confessions, societies of relatives of mentally ill persons, various state structures and mass media have been assisting the return of public trust to psychiatry and psychiatrists and the formation of civic society. The representatives of the IPA often appear on TV and contribute their articles to the press and radio. In general IPA has close contacts with the mass media and in its human rights activities advocates protection of democratic values.

Expert examination activities. >From its very foundation IPA has maintained an independent psychiatric expert examination, which was the first and, still, the sole such institution in Russia. The IPA Commission of Experts includes three psychiatrists, a psychologist and obligatorily a lawyer that ensures the possibility to give differentiated practical recommendations and makes the expert examination the first stage of rehabilitation. The members of the Commission can represent the interests of citizens in court. Annually about 200 persons are examined by the Commission of Experts and over 500 persons attend public reception hours. Meanwhile, it has been established as an usual practice to include IPA experts into the expert commissions of state bodies, in part for forensic psychiatric examination in Moscow and in other cities. There are already some precedents of IPA's being entrusted by courts to hold forensic psychiatric expert examination. In this way different models of independent expert examination have been created. And its essence, in the long run, consists of competitiveness of expertise in court.

Law making activities. IPA actively contributed to the new Russian psychiatric legislation, their members comprised 1/3 of the Parliament Commission on drafting the Law on Psychiatric Care, the first one for Russia. >From the very beginning IPA has been advocating insurance of guarantees for observation of the Law and is continuing to work out a number of other laws. A convention for involuntary treatment of mentally ill persons, drafted by IPA lawyer Yulia Algunova, has been accepted as the intergovernmental document by CIS countries.

Control activities. IPA makes regular inspection trips to various psychiatric establishments of Russia, first of all to mental hospitals for patients with a criminal record. In this field of activities IPA has to struggle constantly with traditions of confidentiality and the illegitimate placing of data on secret lists not only in the Ministry of Health, but especially in the Federal Counterintelligence Service, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice. The IPA commissions have been repeatedly visiting Chernyakhovsk,Orel, Smolensk, Kazan and St. Petersburg mental hospitals for patients with criminal record, as well as Ryazan, Kaliningrad, Yaroslavl, Voronezh, Ekaterinburg and many other mental hospitals, out-patient centers and clinics for chronic invalids in Moscow and Moscow region. The criteria for possible monitoring observation of the Declaration of Human Rights and the Law on Psychiatric Care in psychiatric establishments of different type are being worked out.

Rehabilitating activities. The IPA rehabilitation program is a pioneering attempt to make the lawyer and social worker play the key role in the resocialization process. IPA initiated the creation of the profession of social worker in psychiatry in Russia. The theoretical basis of the rehabilitation program is the product of its own original conception. Apart from strictly professional approaches, the program envisages the collaboration with religious and charitable organizations, Waldorf curative pedagogy and different psychotherapeutic societies and associations of relatives of mentally ill persons.

Scientific activities. In accordance with new priorities, which have been worked out by IPA, its members are engaged in scientific work which is being covered in publications and reports at symposia, conferences and educational seminars. The core of these works is the consolidation of the new general scientific paradigm in psychiatry.

Educational activities. IPA has elaborated and regularly held weekly educational seminars. The IPA educational work is particularly focused on three topics, the ignoring of which served as a professional ground for psychiatric abuse:

  1. the phenomenological method as the basis for psychiatric propedeutic,
  2. criteria of the psychotic level for different syndromes;
  3. legal regulation of psychiatry.

The primary target of the program is the professor of psychiatry in an institution of continuing education - the key figure for spreading new knowledge in our medicine.

IPA is also carrying out educational programs for lawyers, teachers for training medium level personnel and social workers. Since 1992 ten programs have been organized, many of them with foreign participation. 9 visiting seminars in different cities of Russia have been held. In 1998 the IPA elaborated a program for preparing specialists in the field of social psychiatry, social rehabilitation and sociotherapy.

Publishing activities. The publishing activities of IPA includes:

  • Independent Psychiatric Joutnal (quarterly, 3000 copies, since 1991) with supplements;
  • IPA Informational bulletin (bimonthly, 1000 copies, 1995-1996),
  • Collection «The ways of Russian psychiatry renewal»(year-book, 3000 copies, since 1992; two issues are available),
  • "IPA Library" (irregular) within the framework of which the most outstanding works of world psychiatry are to be published. The first issues of the "Library" - E.Bleuler - "Manual Psychiatry" (25000 copies), "The RF LAW on Psychiatric Care and Guarantees of Citizens' Rights in Its Provision" (50000 copies), K.Jaspers - "Philosophical autobiography" (5000 copies).


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