The National Rehabilitation Center (NRC) announced the launch of a project to develop forensic psychiatry services in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with several ministries, departments and government entities in the UAE and abroad, including South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, a leading psychiatry treatment and research centre in the United Kingdom.
Forensic psychiatry services are provided to misdemeanants with mental disorders that require treatment in psychiatric facilities, individuals suffering from mental illnesses, and those accused of violence and sexual crimes. The services are also available to individuals acquitted due to their inability to appear before the court due to mental illness, prisoners who have a mental illness, mentally ill patients with a history of criminal behaviour, and mentally ill high-risk serious offenders who have either been released from penal and correctional facilities or are patients admitted to mental hospitals.
The project was discussed at a workshop at the NRC headquarters in Abu Dhabi, which introduced relevant entities to the project, outlined its progress, and the action plan for implementing the next phases and engaging various entities dealing with the cases of psychological disorders as part of their daily work, or organisations offering criminal justice and related medical services. In addition, the session highlighted the role of various stakeholders in granting data access for the project team to ensure that the action plan fulfils Abu Dhabi’s specific requirements.
"In line with NRC’s priority to improve the mental health of the community, this meeting is an initial step towards providing forensic psychiatric services in Abu Dhabi. It will help our partners set out a clear and feasible plan to offer forensic services to those in urgent need, in compliance with international standards,” says His Excellency Dr Hamad Al Ghafri, Director General of NRC.
“It is our collective responsibility to come up with solutions that make a real difference in our society, he added.
Upon completion, the project will allow relevant organisations to benefit from the expertise of psychiatry specialists and provide best-in-class forensic psychiatric services in Abu Dhabi.
According to several scientific studies, acute mental disorders may cause the person to commit crimes. Studies involving patients who have schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and other major mental disorders have revealed an increase in their criminal behaviour, which often arises from mental illness disorders.
The project involves three phases, beginning with data collection to analyse the need for forensic psychiatry services in Abu Dhabi. The service delivery plan, the care model, and the required specifications will be determined based on the data collected. In phase three, a strategic study including a strategic framework for psychiatric services in Abu Dhabi will be developed.