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23 June, 2024
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Woman reveals harrowing conditions in Nicosia psychiatric hospital

Parliament hears concerns about isolation, neglect, and hygiene in mental health facility

Ioanna Kyriakou

A woman testified before the Parliament's Human Rights Committee, shedding light on the deplorable conditions her sister endured during her stay at the Nicosia psychiatric hospital. In a session dedicated to discussing human rights concerning dignified living conditions for individuals with psychological problems, the woman revealed a distressing account:

During her sister's 29-day hospitalization, she faced isolation and lacked crucial support. The woman narrated that her sister, uncertain about her psychiatrist's visit time until mid-afternoon, had minimal contact with nurses who only administered medication. The absence of a proper diagnosis, goal-setting, and actions by her personal nurse raised concerns. Occupational therapy appointments were scarce, limited to the day before discharge, and weekend activities were non-existent, justified by staff working only on weekdays.

The woman highlighted her sister's isolation, spending most of the time alone with her thoughts. Even during group meetings with psychologists, organized in the third week, there were no additional mental health support activities. The limited activities, such as painting and arts and crafts, clashed with visiting hours, causing her sister to miss out.

Addressing living conditions, the woman criticized the hospital's arrangements, where 20 beds, six for dependents, housed patients of all ages and conditions together. Hygiene concerns included dirty bathrooms with moldy curtains, and her sister changed roommates four times during her stay. The woman expressed discontent about a window that wouldn't close completely and outdated information in the lounge, with a notice dating back to 2006. Ultimately, she argued that her sister's treatment program failed to ensure her right to decent treatment.

[This article was translated from its Greek original and may have been edited for brevity and clarity]

Cyprus  |  health  |  hospital

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