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Member Spotlight November 2020

Icelandic Mental Health Alliance in a few lines?

 

Geðhjálp (The Icelandic Mental Health Alliance) is the association of 3000 members, users, family members, professionals, and enthusiasts for improving the lives of people with mental health problems and persons with psychosocial disabilities in our society and promoting mental health among Icelanders. The association works towards improving services, defending rights, and preventing prejudice by advocacy, consultation and dissemination of information and knowledge. The values of Geðhjálp are courage, respect for personal dignity and empathy.

What are your main activities?

 

The four main activities of Geðhjálp are:

 

Advocacy: Involves assisting people in pursuing their legal rights.

Consultancy: Involves consultation by phone, email and interviews for users, family members, employers, and other people in the close environment of people with mental health problems and mental disabilities.

Information and knowledge: Organizes meetings, lectures, and conferences on mental health and services and issues in general related to the matters of people with mental health problems, psychosocial disabilities and their family members and other carers.

Lobbying: Works on behalf of people with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities in the public sphere. The association has also campaigned for the voices of individual users being heard in the media.

What are your main priorities?

 

  • Promoting mental health among Icelanders.
  • Another priority is to take part in the public discussion is to prevent discrimination against people with mental health problems and psychosocial disabilities. This is an urgent matter since this group experiences the greatest amount of stigma and discrimination in our society, out of individual groups of disabled and non-disabled people.
  • Advocating for a less medicalised and consequential (symptom) based approach to mental health problems – focusing more on causes of mental health.
  • Advocating for “new” understanding of mental health and a different ideology in treating mental dis-orders.
  • We strive to end all coercive treatment of people with mental health problems.
  • Enabling others within the mental health field to act – facilitating cooperation

Where can we find out more?