Flanders :
A mental health care centre* (MHCC) provides help to people with mental problems. For this there are usually separate teams for adults and for children and young people in a MHCC. Each team consists of one or more psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers. In addition to their basic training most employees have also followed specialist courses in psychotherapy.
In a MHCC each request is discussed in a team meeting and a joint decision determines the most viable approach. This method offers guarantees for the quality of the treatment.
The assistance given in a MHCC takes place during consultations. So there is no admission or residence.
There are 20 mental health care centres in Flanders recognised by the Flemish Care and Health Agency.

French Community Commission (COCOF):
The Mental health service is an ambulatory service* that, through a multidisciplinary approach and in collaboration with other institutions and persons concerned with health, contributes to the diagnosis and the psychiatric, psychological, psychotherapeutic and psycho-social treatment of the beneficiary in his familiar living environment and is active in the field of prevention as regards mental health.

German-speaking Community:
The German-speaking Community counts one socio-psychological centre (SPC).

Common Community Commission (Brussels):
A mental health service is an outpatient service that can provide an important contribution to a correct diagnosis by means of a multidisciplinary approach and in cooperation with other bodies or stakeholders. Based on that, an adequate psychiatric, psychological, psychotherapeutic and psychosocial support is implemented and provides therapy within a trusted environment for the patient concerned. In addition, within the Mental Health Care system, consideration to preventative care is provided where appropriate.


Flanders :
A MHCC must comply with a number of recognition standards.
In addition to the recognition standards there are also a number of personnel conditions with which a MHCC must comply.
More information here.

French Community Commission (COCOF):
The Mental Health Service is authorized by the French Community Commission. The authorization is given on the basis of general and specific standards as defined in the decree of 5 March 2009 and its decree of application of 4 June 2009.

German-speaking Community:
The supervision of the socio-psychological centre is a competence of the German-speaking Community that controls its compliance with legal provisions and grants official recognition.

Common Community Commission (Brussels):
A mental health service is recognized by the Common Community Commission for a maximum of 6 years. This recognition takes place based on general and specific standards determined by the Ordinance of 17th July 1997 of the Joint Board of 7th May 1998.


Care quality and patient safety

Flanders :
In order to measure and monitor the performance of the MHCCs, the Flemish Agency for Care and Health has set out a number of objectives and indicators.
These are a number of priorities and key points, derived from the legislation and other policy documents.
• Objective 1: The treatment of a MHCC client starts within a reasonable time period.
• Objective 2: A MHCC profiles and positions itself as a specialist facility in mental health care and as a second-line facility.
• Objective 3: A MHCC pays particular attention to children, the elderly and socially and financially weaker people.
• Objective 4: The mental balance of MHCC clients is restored or the mental disorders are made bearable for the client and those around him/her.
• Objective 5: The number of problematic suspensions of treatements (by the patient or the health care provider) without concertation is kept within limits.
Each objective is translated into and is thus measured by means of one or more indicators. The figures that are obtained via such measurements, form a guideline about the extent to which an objective is achieved.

French Community Commission (COCOF):
The Mental health service is accessible for everyone, without any discrimination (art 33, 4°).
It respects the deontological rules and the duty of professional confidentiality which are in force in the sector it belongs to and it guarantees the confidentiality in the organisation of its premises(art 33, 5°). The Mental health service takes the initiative for qualitative evaluation (art 33, 7°).

Control and evaluation
Flanders :
At least once every three years an audit team looks at each MHCC. This audit is performed by the Flemish Care Inspectorate.

The auditors examine 10 modules:

1. Leadership (organigram, administrative organisation, scaling effects, etc.)
2. Policy and strategy (strategic planning, quality policy, etc.)
3. Personnel (distribution of staff resources, recruitment and training policy, function profiles, performance interviews, etc.)
4. Agents (infrastructure, use of IT, etc.)
5. Key processes (to do with the assistance itself: intake procedure, opening hours, diagnostic expertise, psychiatrist’s time, treatment plan, team meetings, file, deontological code, privacy, NOA [not on appointment] policy, prevention, etc.)
6. User satisfaction (satisfaction survey, complaints procedure, etc.)
7. Employee satisfaction (satisfaction survey)
8. Societal satisfaction (partnership with other MHCCs in the same region, partnership with other players, follow-up of audit findings, etc.)
9. Performance (transparency and monitoring of personnel activities)
10. Financial audit (budget management, client contribution, etc.).

The Flemish Agency for Care and Health then continues to check that the MHCC tackles the weak points and observes the established deadlines.

More info :

French Community Commission (COCOF):
The standards are controlled by the Administration of the French Community Commission.

German-speaking Community:
The government of the German-speaking Community mandates the public officers of the competent department of the ministry to control the compliance with legal provisions and to supervise the Socio-psychological centre. They are entitled to carry out all examinations, controls and investigations deemed necessary.
The German-speaking community also allocates subsidies to partly cover personnel and working costs. The amount and modalities of this funding are defined in the management agreement.
The following link provides further information about the socio-psychological centre of the German-speaking Community: Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft Belgiens.

Common Community Commission (Brussels):
The standards are checked by the inspection service and the health service of the Common Community Commission annually. In addition, there are inspections carried out when there is a change in the number of beds, a new manager, a change in the asbl such as the name of the asbl, address or the location, a change in the objectives of the institution or the recognition standards.

* See Glossary