BUILDING THRIVING COMMUNITIES ACROSS SWITZERLAND
Inspire community connections and access to empower wellbeing
MENTAL HEALTH INITIATIVE – GEISTIGE GESUNDHEIT INITIATIVE
As part of the LIVINGIN association and the LiLi Centre community development programs, the Mental Health Initiative is a public health initiative created to enhance wellbeing within Swiss communities and strengthen infrastructure to address prevention, community care and collaboration with systemic support resources.
IMPROVING PEOPLE’S ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH AND COMMUNITY SERVICES IN SWITZERLAND REGARDLESS OF THEIR STATUS
The pandemic is taking a toll on everyone’s mental health creating an all out SOS for access to mental health services, particularly vulnerable populations including children, teens, economically limited, and otherwise marginalized communities.
This initiative aims to provide mental support to everyone living in Switzerland: Swiss, International residents, refugees, asylum seekers, adolescents, and people who live without papers (“Sans-papiers”)
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Our mission is to increase mental health care capacity across Switzerland – no matter their status: Swiss, International residents, refugees, asylum seekers, adolescents, and people who live without papers (“Sans-papiers”) by strengthening communities and integrating mental health care providers.
Each space grows and develops as a reflection and in co-creation with the community to foster ownership and alliance toward sustainable resource development in the community.
Adaptive to the communities needs
Adaptive to address the needs of the community means that with skilled staff this space can have unprecedented flexibility to meet the current and changing needs of the community in ways no other traditional space could offer.
With support and collaboration from the system infrastructure of schools, the psychiatry department, integration department, and local training programs we can have a deep impact on the support and recovery of the community that works with the current systems and address gaps within these systems.
Increase access and equal affordability to culturally competent and culturally sensitive care.
Address present gaps in mental health that contribute to public health risk to creatively mitigate it
Foster collaboration and integration of foreign practitioners with Swiss practitioners to strengthen the offering and collective knowledge of the region.
Challenge stigma with increased visibility and normalization of public exposure to mental health topics, narratives, and public education.
In multisectoral collaboration with local agencies and digital companies, we will enhance capacity and access by collaboratively developing evidence-based and culturally informed digital on-demand tools.
How does the tiered support work
Clinical Care Referrals and Social Work Case Management for those needing higher levels of care with an infrastructure of a lower level of care to return to aftercare that create wrap-around services to prevent relapse of symptoms and struggles.
25% of people in Switzerland do not speak a local language, furthermore the local language is not their emotional language. Diverse community-based access not only addresses cultural and linguistic barriers to care but reduces stigma that may otherwise reduce equitable access to care.
Behind this campaign, a couple of volunteers work on all matters of administration and organisation. So, every Swiss Franc that you donate goes directly to our projects, including:
- Space and supervision for our community clinic
- Psychosocial groups and offerings
- Technology infrastructure to increase ease of access and transparency of community support resources
- Targeted prevention programs for those in the community with elevated risk factors
- Help coordinate and unify collaborations of interdisciplinary providers to enhance quality and scope of mental health related supports
According to the 2022 WHO World Mental Health Report this need will require a restructuring and scaling up of care for impact on a global level. This requires expansion of community-based mental health care, integration of these services into the health services through strategic collaboration and expansion of mental health services beyond the health sector. Our vision is also in line with Lancet-World Psychiatric Association Commission’s united action on social and community-based supports of professional and non-professional providers are essential to addressing access to these social and mental health needs.
The economic consequences, gaps in public mental health and barriers to the current demand for care necessitate advancement of community mental health, promotion and protection of access to culturally competent and appropriate care at the community level, and social development of infrastructures known to aid in the empowerment of the community members.