Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health
The Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health (SSPMH) is a non-profit non-governmental scientific organization (Legal Entity under Private Law – ΝΠΙΔ in Greek), which was founded in 1981 and provides high quality psychiatric and psychological support services, in order to ensure the population’s mental health and well-being. The EKP&PSY provides services to approximately 2,500 patients (community living and outpatient services of the Mobile Psychiatric Units for remote areas) per year. The EKP&PSY has app. 200 people staff.
The Society’s services are financed by EU funds (ESF, NSRF) and Greek State funds.
The Society undertakes community sensitization activities and promotes the prevention of mental health problems, the early intervention, the social inclusion and employment of people with mental health problems, advancing their human rights and equal opportunities. The activities and services are funded by EU and Greek state funds.
The Society’s main activities and services are:
• Contribution to the Greek Psychiatric Reform
• Sensitization of the community: the training of adults in the community (volunteers, parents’ and teachers’ groups, local authorities e.g. the Police, Judges, church) aims to facilitate them adopt a positive attitude towards disadvantaged groups and to eliminate the stigma attached to mental illness and disability. The Community Sensitization activities aim also to the population’s mental health promotion through lectures and workshops on specific topics, such as “Dealing with the Financial Crisis”, “Dealing with Depression and Anxiety Problems in Everyday Life”.
• Follow-up of users of mental health services and cooperation with the family and psycho-education programs.
• We operate 2 new community day centers for the follow up of people with severe mental health problems in order to prevent their relapses and hospitalization.
• Operation of 6 residential houses and 16 protected apartments in four Prefectures for people with chronic psychosocial problems formerly hospitalized at Greece’s Psychiatric Hospitals. The first hostel operated in Amfissa in 1984. The Society has played an active role in directly and indirectly changing the mentality governing the operation of the large Psychiatric Hospitals.
• 1 Day Centre for the Psychological Support of People with Cancer.
• Operation of 2 Mobile Psychiatric Units (MPU) in the Prefectures of Fokida (central Greece), Evros and Rodopi (North Greece). The aim of the MPUs is to reach the population in need of mental health services and support in remote areas.
• Development of “out of hospital” care services (e.g. ”Crisis Intervention at Home”) in order to avoid the patient’s violent transition to the Psychiatric Hospital as well as the subsequent stigmatization. The MPU works with the patient in crisis, together with the patients’ family at their own home. It is important for the family members and the neighbors to become allies in this process.
• Implementation of Programs for the Social and Work Rehabilitation of people with mental health problems. We operate 2 Limited Liability Social Co-operatives, (KoiSPE in Greek).
• Training Programs for Professionals: The Society has undertaken the training of the personnel of new Hostels created within the framework of the Psychargos II Program around Greece. From 2002 until 2009, 27 educational programs have been realized throughout the country and training has been offered to app. 523 professionals (psychologists, social workers, nurses etc). Each program had duration of 150 hours theory and 190 hours practice. The Society cooperates with the University of Thrace in a postgraduate Program in Social Psychiatry for Mental Health Professionals and with the graduate Program in the Department of Social Administration, for the students’ internship.
• Co-operation with European Mental Health Organizations. The SSPMH is a founding member of the European network of mental health organizations “Asklepios”, and acts as a focal point in Greece for the Mental Health Europe network. It is also member of the European network Social Firms Europe – CEFEC, which focuses on the vocational rehabilitation of people with disabilities and mental health problems, as well as of the European Disability Forum.