Newsletter 1/2011

EMPAD project has started
Alternative community-based service systems promote the social inclusion of the people with mental illness
What is community based rehabilitation?
What is a Clubhouse?
EMPAD pilot trainings courses to take place in May 2011
From ELECT to EMPAD

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EMPAD project has started

Empowering Adults with Mental Illness for Learning and Social Inclusion (EMPAD) project has started. The objective of the project is to create a new training program for adult education staff and other professionals working with people with mental illness. The EMPAD training gives an orientation to community-based rehabilitation (CBR) services and especially to the Clubhouse method, which emphasizes the recovery orientation, learning opportunities and labour market integration of people with mental illness.  

The EMPAD training program will be piloted during the run of the project and the final training product will be offered to the European audience via the Comenius-Grundtvig Training Database (http://ec.europa.eu/education/trainingdatabase/search.cfm).

The aim of the EMPAD project is to help people with mental health problems achieve personal fulfillment and find pathways to employment and education with the help of training and community-based rehabilitation. The EMPAD project will raise awareness about the specific educational challenges of adults who have psychological problems. The project implements the EU policies which promote active inclusion and full participation of the disabled people in society and it is in line with the EU human rights approach to disability issues.

The EMPAD project consortium has participants from Finland, Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Slovenia and the USA. The coordinating organization is the National Institute of Health and Welfare (THL) from Finland. You can learn more about participating organizations on the partners -page.

Download a presentation about the EMPAD project here. The EMPAD project is funded by the European Commission (Lifelong Learning program, sub-programme Grundtvig). The duration of the project is 24 months, starting from 1st November 2010.

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Alternative community-based service systems promote the social inclusion of people with mental illness

The EMPAD project argues that the social inclusion of people with mental illness will be effectively promoted by developing community-based rehabilitation (CBR) services, which will also include formal and non-formal training and educational elements.

The Mental Health Europe (MHE) association emphasizes that people with mental health problems are exposed to significant discrimination when trying to access education, housing, employment, childcare and healthcare (Press release 10 December 2009, www.mhe-sme.org). Due to the lack of adequate inclusive service systems, people with mental illness often spend their lives with insufficient support at home with their families or in large residential institutions.

MHE has published an overview of the situation of social inclusion of people with mental health problems in 27 members States of the EU. The report reveals that the medical model of psychiatric illness is still prevailing. In almost all countries there is a lack of alternative community-based systems for mental health care and psychosocial rehabilitation (http://www.mhe-sme.org/assets/files/from exclusion to inclusion-final version.pdf, p. 19). The EMPAD consortium shares this view and will foster the development of good quality community-based services in the EU.

Another challenge is that in many countries no distinction is being made between people with disabilities and people with mental health problems so that both groups may lack the necessary support services. The EMPAD will address the specific educational and social challenges of adults with psychological problems. People with mental illness need both mental health care and supportive social services. They can live, learn and work independently when they get adequate social support and health care (MHE, pp. 9, 17).

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What is Community based rehabilitation?

Community-based rehabilitation (CBR) focuses on enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities and their families, meeting their basic needs, and ensuring their inclusion and participation in society. CBR is a multi-sectoral approach and has five major components: health, education, livelihood, social and empowerment. This approach is based on the understanding that meeting individual needs often requires support from more than one care or service system. CBR is implemented through the combined efforts of people with disabilities themselves, their families, organizations and communities, and relevant government and non-government services (e.g. health, education, vocational, and social services). For more information please visit the World Health Organizations' website (WHO).

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What is a Clubhouse?

The Clubhouse program for people with mental health problems is based on the same principles as the guidelines for community-based rehabilitation. The Clubhouse program was developed in 1948 in New York, Unites States. The objective for the program is to support people with mental illness to live in society. Today there are over 300 Clubhouses with a total of over 50 000 members in 30 countries worldwide. The Clubhouse method is approved as an evidence-based good practice in the US and in Finland.

he main elements in the Clubhouse are work-ordered day program (8-16 each day), equal relationships between Clubhouse members and staff, meaningful activities, supported employment and education, keeping in contact with the members, leisure activities, and peer support. The detailed description of the Clubhouse program can be found from the international Clubhouse standards (see ICCD webpage).
Most of the Clubhouses are members of the International Center for Clubhouse Development (ICCD). ICCD promotes the development and strengthening of ICCD Clubhouses; oversees the creation and evolution of standards; facilitates and assures the quality of training, consultation, certification, research and advocacy; and provides effective communication and dissemination of vital research and information. In addition, European Clubhouses are planning to establish new European Partnership for Clubhouse Development organization which would operate as the European office for the ICCD.

Worldwide Clubhouse Community in 2008

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EMPAD pilot training courses to take place in May 2011

The EMPAD training gives an orientation to community-based rehabilitation (CBR) services and especially to the Clubhouse method, which emphasizes the recovery orientation, learning opportunities and labour market integration of people with mental illness. The EMPAD training program will be planned and designed by the EMPAD project. The project will organize two pilot training courses in May 2011. See pilot course programs here.

The EMPAD training course will be developed after the pilot phase. The first official EMPAD training courses will be organized in May 2012 and they are open for all. The EMPAD training program will be included in the Comenius-Grundtvig Training Database (http://ec.europa.eu/education/trainingdatabase/search.cfm). Preliminary course information will be available on the EMPAD website. For more information please contact project management.

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From ELECT to EMPAD - See also the results from the European Learning Communities for Training of people with Mental Illness 2007-2009 (ELECT)

European Clubhouses' ELECT project created a set of supported educational methods for Clubhouse members. The project published the Manual for Study Support and the Activation and Motivation report. Results can be found from the ELECT project website http://www.elect-project.eu (see the download link)       

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