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Member Spotlight October 2020

Integra in a few lines?

 

The Association for Mental Health Integra was founded in 1994 with the aim to offer community mental health service for people who are affected by mental health issues to live a meaningful life integrated in society 

What are your main activities?

 

At the beginning Integra focused especially on secondary and tertiary prevention with the help of their community mental health services and an outpatient clinic. Involvement of peers and their relatives in these activities was crucial from the very beginning, as an alternative to services provided by professionals.  

 

Later, Integra started to cooperate with the club of people with schizophrenia that changed later to the club for mental health with patient advocacy and a school project called “Crazy, so what” in cooperation with the German NGO “Irrsinnig Menschlich” and Fokus in Czechia 

 

To get sufficient support from society, Integra went from the trialogue- to the tetralogue-model, thus cooperating with local and national authorities. The pilot project “Transformation to an integrated system of mental health” has been successful within the creation of the “National programme for Mental Health of Slovakia” (NPMH SR). Integra became a pilot region for implementation of this programme in Slovakia. 

 

Early on, Integra organized regular national and international conferences to win supporters for this long-term process. The last conference was held on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the NMHP SR in September 2019 in Bratislava. The conference output provides a manifesto called “Mental Health – a political and social priority”. From March 2020 a new government in Slovakia and its Ministry of Health declared that Mental Health would become a priority. The government started with the creation of a new NPMH SR.  

What are your main priorities?

 

The main priority of Integra is to strengthen mutual peer support of clients with the aim of becoming better integrated into society. We believe methods that strengthen peer-partnership are called for and need. That is why Integra works with the techniques of ‘Focusing and Close Talking’ to enable and motivate peers to become confidants and supporters to each other. By creating a handbook on these methods and the empowering processes they allow, Integra offer peers to learn how to become confident and support each other effectively. We observe, that with these methods, peers have never before been so motivated to create their own individual plan and bring it into real life.  

 

The clients of Integra believe that practical applications of the UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be much more efficient if services will become more peer driven. Thus, another priority emerged out of this self-driven development of empowering recovery. These experts of their own experience are interested in cooperation also with other organizations in the field of mental health, on national as well on international level.  

Where can we find out more?