You are not alone in depression – a project that connects and supports

The program was based on professional support in the form of meetings with specialists such as psychologists, psychotherapists, addiction therapists, but also by carrying out preventive activities, through lectures, workshops and meetings of support groups.

This is the first program of its kind in the Copper Belt, which has brought together so many NGOs that deal daily with the commonly understood family aid. They were: Family Formation Center to them. Jana Pawła II in Lubin, the main organizer and initiator of the program and co-organizers: PAX Association (in collaboration with the St. Joanna Beretta Moll Specialist Family Clinic in Lubin), Legnica Family Center, Głogów Open Door Association, Pro Familia Association (Polkowice). Each of the above organizations established and operated a Mental Health Prevention Center, where every resident of the Copper Basin could receive specialized help. This help was especially intended for adults who suffered from depression or emotional problems, as well as seeking help with psychological crises in the family and the immediate environment.

– The points also provided help to couples and marriages, parents and future parents who struggle with bad mood and depression, loss of meaning in life, seek help to understand and accept the transformations of adulthood, overcome difficulties and experience overload in taking up life roles in adulthood – reports Anna Migalska, director of the John Paul II Family Formation Center in Lubin.

– Our intention was to help people who are experiencing difficulties as a result of struggling with the acceptance of impermanence, depression or mood disorders of various kinds, addiction or other mental disorders. We are also not indifferent to those who accompany a loved one through a depressive illness – she adds.

There were also proposals in the field of psychoeducation – each of the co-organizers of the program organized two workshop sessions and two lectures on issues related to depression. Over the course of nearly a year of the program, 10 lectures and 10 workshop sessions were held, as well as numerous support group meetings and supervision meetings.

Interest in the program was very high from the start. Especially many volunteers came for individual consultations.

– The Depression Prevention Program turned out to be a very successful project. After such difficult events as the pandemic or the outbreak of war in Ukraine, as well as everyday life, which is becoming more and more demanding, access to a mental health specialist is very important – stresses Anna Migalska. – We hope that the next edition of the program will bring relief and specific tools to cope with the difficulties experienced – he says.

A positive signal seems to be the social awareness that the use of psychological help is not a sign of weakness and that we should not be ashamed of it. Increasingly, some mental health issues cannot be addressed alone and are worth seeking the help of a specialist. This also translates into a great interest in specialist advice, but also in lectures and workshops that increase psychosocial competences.

According to the Family Formation Center, as part of the project, which began in September last year, there were some 800 individual consultations and some 600 people attended lectures and workshops throughout the Copper Basin.

– We are aware that without the fact that there was no remuneration for the advice, many people would not have benefited from it. The reasons can be diverse: both the now more common financial problems and the reluctance to allocate a significant amount to something as elusive as, for example, participation in workshops. Whatever the reason, it is good that we can reach people who would not dare to use the aid in a situation where it would be affordable – says Agnieszka Mowińska, president of the PAX Association, one of the program implementers.

It is worth adding that the implementation of the program on such a large scale would not be possible without the support of KGHM Polska Miedź. This support made it possible to provide free advice to the beneficiaries, as well as free participation in workshops, lectures, support group meetings, etc. that took place within the project.

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