Member spotlight: April 2017
The Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health – (S.S.P & M.H.)
The Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health (S.S.P & M.H.) is a non-profit, scientific organization, which was founded in 1981 by the child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst professor Panagiotis Sakellaropoulos. The S.S.P.& M.H. has made a significant contribution to Greece’s psychiatric reform based on the principles of social psychiatry by offering high quality psychiatric and psychological support services in Attica, Central and North Greece in order to ensure the population’s mental health and well-being. All services provided by the S.S.P.& M.H. and targeted to children, adolescents, adults and older people are for free. For more information, visit our official brand-new website
What is the S.S.P & M.H. up to? What are your ongoing projects?
This year the S.S.P.& M.H. participates in a number of European projects, while developing activities through two big projects launched last year and which are funded under the EEA Grants Greek NGO Program “We are all Citizens”.
“We are all Citizens” programs
The first project titled “Action Platform for the rights in Mental Health” aims at the development of a dynamic and sustainable intervention to resolve pending issues related to the protection of people with mental health problems from discriminatory practices and the violation of their rights. The main principle that governs the project is the belief that the shift of ‘paradigm’ from ‘tolerance’ and ‘philanthropy’ to the undisputed acknowledgment of human rights to the people with minor or major mental health problems. To this end, a number of activities are foreseen targeted towards policy makers, NGOs, community, formal and informal networks, judiciary / educational / police / mass media services.
Based on the viability of the project, S.S.P. & M.H. continues to offer free seminars about mental health rights to targeted groups (i.e. police officers) that expressed interest following their first experience, while our organisation maintains a collaboration with policy makers (i.e. Ministry of Justice) in an effort to further advocate and promote the rights of people with mental health problems.
“The second project is titled “Social Bonds: Empowerment and Networking of Mental Health Services Providers for the improvement of services in the community”. The project included the mapping of Mental Health services in particular areas of Greece, as well as the operation of Information Centers that provided free information and connection of interested citizens with the available Mental Health Services in their community. These Information Centers function as “single point entry” which is very important and helpful for users, as 2 main problems of Greek Mental Health system is that the sectorization and that network of necessary services has not been completed yet. In addition, it was offered capacity building training to staff members of the project partners, so that they can respond to current challenges and needs in a period that the demand for services is increasing but the services have fewer resources.
ERASMUS +/Youth: “DELIBERATE SELF HARM POSITIVE CHOICES” (1/4/2015 – 31/3/2017)
Through the project we created an open training platform for all professionals working in the field of youth, especially the ones who work with young people who may experience or run the risk of expressing symptoms of Alexithymia and/or any other emotional distress, a situation connected with self-harm behaviors.
ERASMUS+ DIGNITY & WELL-BEING: Exchange for changing (November 2016 – June 2019)
The aim of the project is to create a strategic partnership for vocational education and training for professionals working with homeless and refugees with a special focus on the most deprived and severely mentally-ill people.
What are your areas of focus?
Given the various needs of refugees/migrants currently living in Greece, S.S.P. & M.H. plans to actively participate in the response to psychosocial needs-at different levels- by developing synergies and collaboration with other relevant actors (international & national NGOs). In particular, our planned response relates to a. supervision-training of organizations’ staff active in the field b. provision of psychosocial support to migrants/refugee, adopting the model of the Mobile Mental Health Units.
COMMUNITY SENSITIZATION ACTIVITIES
Keeping community sensitization high on our agenda, we keep developing pertinent activities, such as public events, trainings, seminars; all the activities are based on our long-term experience and set as a target to raise public awareness and combat misconceptions and stereotypes around mental health stigma, while help us exchange know-how and good practices through our collaboration and networking with mental health or other actors (i.e. schools, universities, hospitals). Within the context of sensitization activities, in 2016 – 2017 we participate actively in “Open Schools” program, an innovative initiative run by the City of Athens, which has grown popular within the local community turning the school premises into recreational, cultural, educational and sports activities centers suitable for people of all ages.
Our organization supports the program by carrying out experiential workshops in order to enhance the emotional intelligence and reinforce resilience among young students using important material from the MHE campaign “Each of Us”
What about your strategic goals?
Identifying opportunities and challenges in the mental health sector for the years to come, we set the following strategic lines and goals for 2016-2018:
1) Improve the quality and upgrade the efficiency of our services
2) Develop new community-oriented services and integrate the network of services in the mental health sector
3) Develop services that respond to new social needs (i.e. refugees/migrants)
4) Develop human rights advocacy activities
5) Develop prevention and timely intervention in mental health-related activities
6) Enforce our network with other services, community resources and institutional actors (i.e. Ministries)
7) Education, training and research on mental health
8) Improve the staff performance (education, evaluation)
9) Improve our public profile/image
10) Identify alternative funding resources
Where can we hear from you?
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