The alert launched from the WHO is clear: one in four people will suffer some type of mental health problem throughout their lives. Mental disorders that can affect us all – although very especially those who suffer from situations of social or economic vulnerability – and for which we will need help. TV3’s ‘La Marató’, dedicated this year to mental illnesses , is an opportunity to give visibility and raise awareness about unfavorable situations suffered by many people.
Unwanted life situations (poverty, discrimination, loneliness …), traumatic experiences or uncertainty about the future end up affecting our health and plunge us into episodes of psychological distress, anguish, depression or serious mental disorders. These situations have been further aggravated by the context of covid-19, which has triggered the vulnerability of many people.
In the province of Barcelona, a territory of almost 5.6 million inhabitants, the Barcelona Provincial Council, in coordination with other administrations and together with city councils and third-sector entities, implements prevention and care programs for mental disorders and improvement of the emotional well-being of these people and their environment . The objective is to guarantee their quality of life, equal opportunities to leave no one behind and avoid stigma and discrimination.
They are programs that comprehensively address mental health throughout the entire life cycle. Young people, women, the elderly, those with disabilities and those who suffer from extreme poverty and vulnerability are the groups most affected.
The actions promoted by the Provincial Council include different areas and approaches: care for non-professional caregivers through the “Respir ” program; support for healthcare professionals; legal advice; promoting healthy habits to prevent and improve people’s emotional well-being ; the promotion of the therapeutic benefits of cultural creation, or the promotion of employment, to give a few examples. For Lluïsa Moret, deputy of the Area of Equality and Social Sustainability of the Diputación de Barcelona, ”public administrations must respond to the needs of people with mental health problems through methodologies, resources and tools, but we also have to influence the causes that provoke them, with active prevention policies to avoid the situations of vulnerability that trigger them ”.
In the social sphere, one of the main lines of action of the Diputación de Barcelona focuses on financial support to social entities for mental health care , which provide direct service of care and monitoring to affected people and their environment . Through the subsidy program, projects of more than 75 entities and federations of the province are financed for the affected people and the family and community environment.
The municipalities also receive support from the Barcelona Provincial Council to radiograph and improve the coordination of all the agents of the municipality involved in mental health. This support is specified in the drafting of a local action plan aimed at promoting well-being, full participation, inclusion and accessibility of people in the life of the municipality. In this sense, in the last three years support has been offered to eight municipalities in the province.
In the field of employability , the Network of Labor Technical Offices has been serving people with a diagnosis of mental health disorder for 19 years and accompanies them in their insertion and permanence in the labor market. During the first half of 2021, 1,500 people were served.
And in the field of culture , this fall the Diputación de Barcelona has launched “CulturaMENT ”, a pilot program in twelve municipalities, with activities to extend the positive effects of theater, music or art to the elderly, a 20% of which are estimated to have some type of mental or neurological disorder.
All these actions draw a shared roadmap with the municipalities and entities of the province, which have a strategic role in caring for people’s mental health. Between all of us, we must take care of mental health for a cohesive, inclusive society that guarantees the rights of all. Welcome to this year’s TV3’s ‘La Marató’!