"From the moment he passes the wall of internment, the patient enters a new dimension of emotional emptiness". Franco Basaglia, the revolutionary Italian psychiatrist who changed the treatment of patients and brought, between the years' 60 and 70, to the overcoming of the traditional conception of asylums, explained that the space "originally born to render the patient harmless and at the same time cure him, appears as a place paradoxically constructed for the complete annihilation of its individuality ”.
The international cooperation project that the Puglia and Sardinia regions are carrying out, with intense work started in the 2007, consists precisely in putting the modern concept of mental health at the service of the Albanian health system. Some results are already visible in the territorial assistance with the opening in Valona of the first "family house", within the framework of the United Nations Art Gold program (2007-2008) that Puglia has funded. The house, inhabited by 10 former hospitalized women of the Valona Psychiatric Hospital, represented the first important work experience of social integration and networking in the territory, which was followed by the opening of two new family homes. Also through the activity of the Mental Health Community Center it was thus possible to reduce the number of beds in the large city psychiatric hospital (from 90 to 260) by 170 units.
The heart of the cooperation project, which avails itself of a qualified technical-scientific support, is the mental hospital deinstitutionalization process. The goal of the reform of the psychiatric system in Albania is to develop a treatment program based on community mental health. "If mental illness is, at its origin, loss of individuality, of freedom, in the asylum the patient finds nothing else that the place where it will be definitively lost, made the object of illness and the rhythm of internment. The absence of any project, the loss of the future, being constantly at the mercy of others without the slightest personal push, having scanned and organized one's day on times dictated only by organizational needs, which just as such cannot take into account the individual and the particular circumstances of each ", in fact they annihilate, said Basaglia in the 1964, the person who is inside the patient. An Albanian delegation visited for three days the assistance facilities for patients suffering from psychiatric disorders in Puglia and directly observed the activity of the Apulian Mental Health Services, where innovative experiences were developed in the field of Community Mental Health for what regards, in particular, network work and the development of associations of users and family members. In particular, a visit was organized to the Marco Cavallo Day Center in Latiano, where an experimental co-management and research project is underway between CSM operators and the "180 friends of Puglia" Association and one at the Mental Health Center, Family Home and "Macondo" Day Center of Martina Franca where, in the meeting with the operators and the "Il Gabbiano" Association, social enterprise paths and work placement with social cooperatives were discussed.
The project was presented in Bari by the Regional Councilor for Health Policies Tommaso Fiore, the director of the Apulian Regional Health Agency Franco Bux, and by the person in charge of the initiatives of A.
S. Maria Genchi. With them some members of the Balkan delegation: Antonela Agai, director of the Psychiatric Hospital of Valona and Eljesa Harapej, responsible for Mental Health of the Albanian Ministry of Health. Currently the A.
S. Puglia, together with the Sardinia Region, is continuing to reinforce the process through: the support given to the activation of the two new family houses that host 24 ex inpatients of the Psychiatric Hospital; the launch of a social enterprise project that involves the creation of a photovoltaic plant greenhouse; the realization of a training course, with the assignment of work grants, to approximately 40 patients among patients in the psychiatric hospital, guests of the three family houses and users of the Community Mental Health Center.
The guidelines that animate the project are clear: free the psychiatric disorder from the usual association with mental hospitals and overcome the social marginalization of patients. The "Welfare and Health Cooperation in the Balkans" (Whcb) project is strengthening the planning and management system for social and health services in Albania and Serbia. It uses a network of Italian regions (Puglia, Emilia Romagna, Sicily, Abruzzo, Liguria, Sardinia) and is part of the Framework Program for Supporting Decentralized Regional Cooperation in the Balkan area (APQ-Balkans).
Follow Albania News on Google News