The Caritas Thursday Club Experience (in Malta). – What does it have to teach us about effective community care in the mental health field?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Publication details

Title of host publicationConference: Stocktaking in Mental Health Research.
DatePublished - 2 May 2016
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The Caritas Thursday Club Experience (in Malta) – What does it have to teach us about effective community care in the mental health field?
Community-based care that is offered to people with mental health problems ranges from psychiatric outpatient care to initiatives ranging from self-help groups to informal networking of people with one another. These different types of community-based care share in common an ambition to strengthen the resources, current abilities, and overall state of wellness of people with mental health difficulties. The Caritas Thursday Club is an informal service which is aimed at maintaining or restoring the adaptation and well-being of service-users through the use of psycho-educational initiatives. People who attend the Thursday Club have attended the Psychiatric Outpatient clinic and/or have been hospitalised at Mount Carmel Hospital. All live in the community either on their own or with relatives. A minority live in sheltered housing.
Whenever people are unable to maintain an effective functional state, particularly if they unable to carry out activities of daily living that they usually carry out with little effort, this may render them susceptible to learned helplessness. Consequently, they would feel discouraged from using self-efficacy to reach their desired ends. In acknowledgment that mental illnesses can seriously disrupt cognitive, affective and behavioural functioning, the Caritas Thursday Club offers an informal group-based service that is based on promoting empathy, compassion, hope, resilience and motivation among its service users, while constantly respecting their need for safety, comfort and security.
This paper is focused on showing how the Caritas Thursday Club enables recovery focused goals to be reached by educating service users about recognising and taking initiatives to promote a meaningful life beyond their illness. This paper also shows how, in response to the stigmatisation that they tend to suffer due to their mental health problems, the emancipatory knowledge that the Thursday Club promotes can serve to enable them further to feel accepted and valued as individuals.

Bibliographical note

The author has been active as a social work practitioner and as a social work lecturer throughout his career. He has recently moved to York from Malta. He is the author of several reviewed publications on mental health and on education.

    Research areas

  • mental health, , commuity level interventions, health, social involvement

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