Building a network for mental health in Rome

Empowering people suffering from mental illnesses and their families

Fondation d’Harcourt has decided to support, for the very first time in Italy, a mental health initiative titled “Volunteers and family network for mental health”.  It is aimed at promoting a culture of solidarity towards persons going through a period of psychic distress and their families.

On May 6, Fondazione di Liegro will start a training course on mental health and social exclusion. The course is addressed to approximately 100 family members and volunteers, and will provide them with the tools and skills they require to promote active citizenship for the benefit of those suffering from mental distress and psychiatric vulnerabilities.

At the end of the course self-help groups will allow families to dispel loneliness and reduce stigma by sharing their experiences with others facing similar difficulties. Moreover, volunteers interested in taking part in the program will be able to enroll and support the local public health services and co-lead the various art therapy workshops available.

The intervention also has the objective of accompanying patients along their rehabilitation pathways and therapies; patients who would otherwise find themselves confined to their homes, not being able to lead a normal life. They shall therefore be encouraged to take part in art therapy workshops such as sailing, theater, photography or music, to name a few. Art therapy enhances autonomy and helps each individual rediscover his or her potentials and skills, eventually easing their reintegration into society.