Recovery Assistant
empowerment of vulnerable groups
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-01-2022 - 31-03-2023
Project cost:
77 610,00 EUR
77 610,00 EUR
Types of activities:
Target groups:
persons with medical conditions

The project responds to the need to educate recovery assistants and prevent social exclusion of people with mental illnesses. In Poland, the number of patients with schizophrenia is estimated at around 400 000. Together with other mental disorders (i.e. depression, neuroses, mood disorders), in 2006, approximately 4% of the population – 1.5 million people – received assistance (CBOS). The specific nature of mental illness is associated with the risk of social exclusion. In Poland, only 2% of people with mental illness are in full-time employment. Meanwhile, since April 2020 Mental Health Centres have been obliged to employ recovery assistants (people with mental illness who, after gaining qualification, work with other people with mental illness). Unfortunately, the offer of courses preparing for this profession is very modest in Poland.

As part of the project, 29 persons with mental illnesses were prepared for the profession of recovery assistants. There were 2 editions of the course and each edition contained 11 20-hour modules on communication, knowledge about the illnesses, insight into the illness and stigma issues, recovery, self-advocacy, cooperation and ethical issues. The course was attended by 29 people with mental illnesses from all over Poland. The Norwegian partner, ALF from Bergen, shared its experience of implementing a similar activity during study visits.

As a result of the project, the knowledge of people with mental illnesses in the field of self-advocacy has increased, as well as the soft skills necessary to work as a recovery assistant, making them ready for such work. Participants in both editions have increased their knowledge of ethical issues related to the profession, have more insight into their illnesses, and are able to use their own medical history to help others in a similar situation.

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