The specific nature of a mental health disorder entails possible social exclusion. Only 2% of people with mental health disorders work full time, 44% take a disability or retirement pension following their first hospitalization, 15% discontinue studies, and almost 11% lose their jobs due to a mental health disorder (Needs of people with mental health disorders in Małopolska – research findings, A. Liberadzka, D. Kurbiel, 2015). These are people of a low level of civic activity.
This project addresses the issue of exclusion of people with mental health disorders.
Training in self-advocacy will be provided for the eighteen most active people in the Cogito Leader Academy from various regions (four three-day meetings on self-advocacy, social service training, public appearances, and advocacy) and twelve people with mental health disorders from Małopolska (series of 24 training sessions on patients’ rights, overcoming barriers, case-law, and a support group). Leaders will be able to prove themselves when organizing a Mental Health Congress, and we will also involve people from Małopolska in a series of 32 seminars for medical students and students of social subjects.
We also plan to publish a book to give people with experience of mental illness their say, and hold an Environmental Psychiatry Forum – a plane for tripartite discussion between people with mental health disorders, their families, and professionals.
Thirty people with experience of mental health disorders from various places in Poland, and 150 people around them, will participate.
As a result, thirty people will be trained in self-advocacy. 150 people around them will become more aware of rights, obligations, and opportunities of people with mental health disorders, and this community will be consolidated.
The partner, the Open the Door Association, will provide contacts with members of the Cogito Leader Academy and assure educators participation in a series of 32 seminars on Talking about mental health disorders.