Beyond a mental health diagnosis
Tue. 03. Nov 2020 09:29
Let’s take a step back from the organisational and international objectives of ImpleMentAll and try to get an understanding of the individual people that IMA in the end is going to affect. Sometimes, with such a complex and comprehensive project as IMA, it can be greatly inspiring to consider the perspectives of tangible people who, hopefully, in the end will benefit from the changes that the project will entail.
In a video by GAMIAN-Europe (Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe) eight different people with different nationalities and with some type of mental health condition are asked about what quality of life means to them. The recurring topics, emphasised by several of the people, are a well-functioning and supportive social network, security and stability on a number of levels, and meaningful activities - may it be work or a hobby. Many of them have felt lonely and struggle with internal, negative feelings about themselves along with day-to-day challenges and coping, but these aforementioned factors help them feel more at peace and like they belong.
Another topic that seems to engage the people in the video is the professional support that is accessible to them and others with psychological difficulties. In the video, Yammie Fishel, who is also a member of the External Advisory Board of the IMA project, mentions how helpful the professional and psychological support she has received has been: “I have a great psychologist whom I see every week […] I have a psychiatrist as well, who is not someone who would force medication on me. He’s really, really open for alternatives”. However, at the same time Péter Kéri in the video mentions that “a lot of people with mental challenges don’t have access to psychotherapy” as a reason for why he is involved in the development of applications for this purpose. Moreover, Chantel Fouche in the video has experienced a lack of psychological support and self-help options and feels that too much emphasis has been placed on medication.
In that sense, the GAMIAN video helps highlighting how IMA might be beneficial not only on a broad and general level relating to implementation processes but also for specific individuals who suffer from mental health conditions. By making the implementation of different eMental Health tools more efficient and by normalising these tools into everyday practice in each of the respective countries’ healthcare systems, the accessibility of psychological support would be distributed more widely and thereby provide the possibility of benefitting a greater number of people. As Yammie Fishel later quotes to us: “I am challenged by my vulnerability, but I have learned to face it, embrace it and take good care of it. E-health gives me a possibility to build a stronger version of myself. It creates a path of my personal journey where I decide which tool I need to get to my destinated care."
What is important for your quality of life? How do you think ImpleMentAll could influence the possibilities for seeking support for specific individuals with psychological challenges? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and considerations in the comments below!
Watch the video by GAMIAN here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLWJCOr9-Xs&ab_channel=GAMIANEurope