The Dutch EMPOWER.Ment transnational project meeting on Monday and Tuesday November 29-30th 2021 in Area071, at Leiderdorp was a very successful event. It was the first time the partnership organisations met each other face-to-face. The partnership could do a lot of work. Just a few days before the meeting took place the Dutch partial lockdown was implemented. Fortunately did had no impact on the success and progress made. The project introduces and ensures empowerment and inclusive support for people with severe mental health disease (SMHD), through preparation (training), mindset (toolkit) and supervision (guide) for volunteers, family/friends, professionals and students. The Empower.Ment project is co-funded by Erasmus Plus Programme of the European Union.
We are about empowerment
One of the very interesting discussions during the Dutch meeting was ‘how to get involvement and engagement with people with lived experiences’. The partnership pointed out the issue of practiallity and the fact that ‘We are about empowerment’: So that means that we need, from day 1, get people who need to be empowered, engaged and involved… So how are we going to engage with them? How are we going to make it happen? The process is for the people with lived experiences. The partnership agreed that they must be the co-producers of the intelectual outputs. To start in work groups in each organisation to built the definitions and terms through discussions. It’s about engagement and involvement of people with lived experiences to reflect on themselves and empower their capacities to stay in and work in mental services. And then summarise and present the context and put it in the Empowerment (FB) work group for a definitive frame work and definitions. We don’t only want to collect data, we want to engage and have them involved with the discussions. This could be done by one-to-one interviews or in group sessions.
Empower.Ment Meetings Coming Up
- Learning Mobility Italy /LTT(Training days): 7, 8, 9 and 10th June 2022
- Learning Mobility Greece (Training days): 19 20, 21 -22th September 2022)
The learning mobilities are important training days for the partnership. Experts will come from outside the partnership to train and present. The LTT activities is about learning, producing and fine tuning the intelectual outputs and much more.
During the Dutch meeting the partners made the action plans for the glossary and manual more smart, to be sure we can answer and give indepth insight around questions like: What is the impact in terms of how people with lived experiences, volunteers and professionals feel? If we implement what we teach, what is the result? This must be the substantial result of our appproach. Is the stigma, self-stigma reduced? Do people feel more included, respected? Do they take more responsibillity if they are taking power? Do professionals feel less burdened of more limited by the new approach, new usage of words?
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