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Psychiatric patients barred from wards

According to Sveinn Magnússon, the director of Gedhjálp, a grass roots organization for the mentally disabled, a group of 20 mentally disabled people “are not welcome” at Iceland’s psychiatric units. The group, composed of 19 homeless males and one female, are not only mentally ill but also drug addicts. They are continually barred from psychiatric units reports the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RÚV. Although they often break the law, the police have stopped taking them to the hospital.

According to Sveinn hospital regulations permit people under the influence of drugs or alcohol from being admitted while the substance abuse hospital Vogur does not receive this group because of their mental disabilities. Sveinn says that there is a serious lack of facilities for people struggling with both mental and drug problems. There are examples of people with such problems committing serious crimes. According to Sveinn the official explanation for not doing anything is that “these people are so sick that there is no remedy”.

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