The aim of this initiative was sharing and deepening experience of working in the area of mental health in families, focusing on single parent families, exploring the ways that can be empowered and supporting families with a mentally ill family member, exchanging best practice and transferring the know how. The secondary objective was increasing the awareness of the issue in both countries.
The expected bilateral benefit is an improvement of the mutual understanding of perception of mental illness in family, both in intercultural perspective and in finding useful ways to work with vulnerable
Summary of the results
Methodology of delivering programmes focused on social inclusion for single parent families with a mentally ill family member were prepared, both Norwegian organizations provided input and insight into their practices in this area which were incorporated into methodologies of existing programmes, namely: New Horizons, New Opportunities, Take a Breath, etc.
Expertise in developing own staff in work with these families (measures for sustaining quality, employee motivation) was delivered. During the first study visit, the current situation in support of families with a mentally ill member in Norway and in Czechia was mapped. Limits of professional responsibility and the advantages of supporting parenting skills vs. direct interventions into the family system were discussed. During the 2nd visit in Norway, the Czech side gained experience directly from other key staff members of both involved organizations. The focuse was put on support of professionals working with families, work with children of mentally ill adults, or introducing physical activities as part of efficient holistic approach to mentally ill people and their families.
During the initiative, deeper and renewed relationshp with Voksne for Barn was achieved, and constructive and mutually beneficial new collaboration with Modum Bad was developed.