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Jan 09 2019

Turkish ruling party’s far-right ally calls for mental health bill

The head of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political ally Devlet Bahçeli said on Tuesday that Turkey needed a mental health law to outline patients’ rights and state responsibilities, reported Sözcü newspaper.

Speaking in Turkish parliament, Bahçeli said Turkey’s mental health problems had gotten worse and that he hoped that a new bill would be adopted this year.

The MHP proposed a bill on mental health in March 2018, but parliament failed to discuss it due to approaching elections in June, said Sözcü columnist Deniz Zeyrek.

The bill, prepared by MHP deputy head Deniz Depboylu, who is a psycho-therapist, focuses on preventive measures, detailing the mental health situation in Turkey

According to the bill, one in every six Turks suffer from mental health problems, while more than 3 million Turks have depression and anti-depressant use has increased 56 percent in the past five years.

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