ON RECOVERY (2)
: PANAGIOTA FITSIOU
Why have we Recovery like a
pillar in the interventions with people homeless with mental illness?
Which is the role of Recovery
action in the interventions with people homeless with mental illness?
Wich are the tasks and the
targets of Recovery action in the interventions with people homeless
with mental illness?
definition is very broad and maybe vague, but could be described as
"to live a meaningful life in the community of your choice and
strive to achieve your potential".
able to recover, means self-regulate oneself and live in one's own
Recovery is a process and a personal journey, we respect people's
choices and the time needed to return in meaningful life.
people become homeless because of mental illness and /or adverse
childhood experiences. It is not just a "homeless" situation, we
also have to address impairments and provide options to meet
However, there are obstacles to this process. Some people are stuck
to vicious cycles because we offer them solution that do not fit to
to listen, then to offer!
Recovery should be transversal in all interventions.
role of recovery is to install hope, to give positive perspective
(of course not unrealistic), to support to connect and discover
opportunities, to respect needs and choices, focus on strength and
self-determination, focus not on symptoms but on own resources.
Can we highlight specific
rights on Recovery? Do specific rights on Recovery exist?
is a different approach and "paradigm". We keep in mind the United
Nations' Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, which
means a shift from medical to social model of disability. Recovery
is supported by other basic rights: right to housing, to access to
health services, access to basic goods, the right to live
independently in the community of your choice, to participate to
community life and being included as an equal member of the society.
Best practices we experienced in our visits
more than 3 examples
Social Cooperatives of Limited Liability (SCOLL - KoiSPE in Greek),
which are Private Law Entities, with limited liability of their
members, were instituted by L. 2716/1999 "Development and
Modernization of Mental Health Services and other provisions
"(Government Gazette 96 A / 17.05.1999) of the Ministry of Health
for the" Development and modernization of mental health services ".
The SCOLL have a commercial nature and can develop any economic
activity supporting it by vocational training programs for their
members, as well as sheltered laboratories, and Supported employment
Pertaining to the Social Cooperative Enterprises, economic migrants,
refugees and mentally ill individuals are among those groups that
are being provided for by the Law 4430 of 2016. So, they
are a special form
of cooperatives, since they are both productive/commercial units and
also Mental Health Units.
Purpose and Aims
activities of SCOLL aim:
To ensure the viability of
the enterprise and the continuous creation of new employment
To be active in the local
To maintain a balance
between the entrepreneurial strategy and the social aims;
To fight and eliminate the
social stigma, through – among others - the creation of a work
identity and the improvement of the financial position of the
To establish cooperation
with the family and the therapeutic framework and provide
counselling support to the members;
To provide continuous
education and vocational training to its members with psychosocial
To provide continuous
education and vocational training to its staff and collaborators -
mental health professionals, so as to contribute to the employment
of people with special needs, disadvantaged and psychosocially
Invisible Tours, the social tour
September 2014, the “Invisible tours” social project was launched.
It is a social tours program based in the capital of Greece, Athens,
in which homeless people become tour guides -and indeed, community
leaders- in a very different kind of a city walk. This is a tour
that does not take people to Acropolis and the archaeological
treasures of the city but leads them through the backstreets of
central Athens. As is the case with other social tours organized by
street papers all over the world (Hamburg, Basel, London, Munich
etc), the tour introduces visitors to some of the important social
and solidarity institutions of the Greek capital (soup kitchens, day
centers, drug rehabilitation centers, homeless shelters etc). The
guides provide information on the types of services offered by each
institution as well as how they themselves have experienced or are
still experiencing homelessness. The goal of these social tours is
to energize the person who is leading the tour and to create new
ways for him/her to support himself/herself, providing new training
and educational opportunities and supporting them to move a step
closer to social (re)integration.
We have to be careful not to stick with the label of homeless and
"sell" this idea!
Is it possible for Recovery
professionals partecipate in the network?
How Recovery professionals can
cooperate with the other professionals involved in the interventions
with people homeless with mental illness? Which are the most
critical issues in this cooperation? Which are the most strength
issues in this cooperation?
How can Recovery professionals
partecipate/build the multidisciplinary network?
is a totally different approach and "paradigm", so you have to
encourage this approach in every team and inspire colleagues to see
throught this perspective and really support people towards this
needs of people are diverse and complex. So networking is neccessary
in order to offer choices.
It is a
person-centered approach and we need a tailor-maide plan (not step
by step, but according to choices, potentials and impairements) .
important to facilitate with formal and informal associations and
How can the outreach/proximity
approach be used like a tool in the interventions with homeless
people with mental illness?
Which are the specific
methodology in the outreach/proximity aproach that can be a strenght
in the Recovery interventions?
and proximity means we have to be proactive, to meet people where
they are and give priority to the needs they express.
rapid responses to needs, give access and clear pathways.
careful not to "trap" people into vicious cycles of training...We
have to re-invent job and empower people to follow their pathways.
should focus on real jobs.
Key words of Recovery Pillar
Connecting, empowerement, personal choices, hope and potentials,
real job, active position.
Which are the staff care action
more effective for the Recovery professionals working with homeless
people with mental illness?
Which are the most critical
issues in their work? Which are the most strength issues in their
space to teams for reflection, team approach, mentallity and culture
of networking, communication within the team, in order to support
staff and facilitate to understand that recovery process takes time,
so we have to deal with frustrations, steps back and forward and at
the same time respect people's own recourses.
has to be supported to be flexible.
issue is that teams have to empower people, while working in a
difficult and "hostile" environment regarding job (fewer
opportunities and unemployment). We have to be optimist, install
hope but not being unrealisitic...).