The specific nature of a mental health disorder entails possible social exclusion. The European practice of hiring people with mental health disorders in therapeutic teams is also being adopted in Poland. Since April 2020, mental health clinics have had an obligation to hire recovery assistants (a person with a mental health disorder who has qualified and works as an equal with other professionals with other people with mental health disorders). The Ministry of Health is now finalising work on professional classification of this new profession. At the same time, there are very few training courses for this profession in Poland. We have now conducted a course of this kind twice free of charge, and there is huge interest.
This project addresses the need to train recovery assistants and make people with mental health disorders less vulnerable.
We will conduct two recovery assistant training courses (weekend conferences), each of eleven modules of twenty hours on communication (two conferences), learning about illness, appearance during illness and stigma issues, recovery, self-advocacy, collaboration (two conferences) and ethics. We can offer those interested an internship in one of the centres run by our Partner: Senior Citizen Centre, Occupational Therapy Workshops, Community Self-help Centre or Support Centre.
Thirty people with mental health disorders from all over Poland will participate in the activities.
They will enhance their knowledge of self-advocacy and learn soft skills necessary to work as a recovery assistant, and will be ready to begin working in this capacity.
The Partner – ALF based in Bergen – will share, on study visits, know-how gained in a similar project, and assess the activities performed in Poland.
The other Partner – The Association for the Development of Community Psychiatry and Care will be involved in conducting the course, provide premises, and provide opportunities for internships at its centres.