Health Min.: cities must offer better treatment to mentally disturbed

Bart van U. implicated in the January 2015 murder of his sister Lois in Rotterdam. (Bart van U. implicated in the January 2015 murder of his sister Lois in Rotterdam)

Minister Edith Schippers of Public Health is planning a more effective approach to helping people with mental health problems. She wants all municipalities to come up with a good plan to personally help every mentally disturbed person in the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports.

This plan also involves Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice, the Association of Dutch Municipalities and mental healthcare service GGZ Nederland. Alphen aan den Rijn mayor Liesbeth Spies is leading a so-called "motivation team mentally disturbed persons", which will identify where problems lie within the approach to mental health care and how local authorities and the involved healthcare agencies can improve it.

The aim of this program is to make sure that mentally disturbed people - such as Bart van U., who murdered his sister and politician Els Borst, and Udo D., who recently beat a woman to death with a bottle in Leeuwarden - are not left to their fate and fend for themselves.

According to GGZ Nederland, there is an increase in the number of reports about disturbed behavior, though not all are as serious as the two mentioned above. "It usually involves people who temporarily lost their way, but it can also be people with life problems like debt, loss of loved ones", a spokesperson said to the newspaper.