The Internet and the integration of psychiatric and mentally disabled patients into jobs: considerations about the use of the Net in an European Cooperative Project
Dipartimento di Psichiatria ASL 2 "Savonese"
The Azienda Sanitaria Locale 2 "Savonese" (Local Health Authority) has presented to the EU a pilot project for the integration of psychiatric and mentally disabled patients into jobs called "Work in Progress". This Horizon project will take place for 30 months beginning from january 1998 with a budget of 580 millions itl. The objective of the project is the integration of 14 patients into jobs, trying out an operational model developed on the basis of the experience acquired in this field by the proposing Body.
The patients will undertake a training programme in the sectors of maintenance and management of green areas and differentiating collection and recycling of waste; at the end of the project they will be employed by a social co-operative which has recently been established ("Il Casello") and by local firms involved in the implementation of the project.
The project will be run in cooperation with two partners from other countries of the EU: a Training Centre of the Deutsch Red Cross in Worms and the Psychiatric Hospital of Thessaloniki (Greece). With these partners will be realized, amongst other activities, a follow-up study on the clinical and social outcome of rehabilitation through integration into jobs, with particular reference to the quality of life of the disabled and their family members.
To facilitate the communication with the partners and the wider area of persons and associations interested in psychosocial rehabilitation we will use a direct communication plan through the Internet. This will give us the opportunity to exchange information in several areas, including organisation, assessment, new developments, arising problems, results of the follow-up study. Our Net site will be used also as a newsgroup on the topics of rehabilitation of the disabled through job integration. The patients (or we should better say the "consumers", following the WHO recommendations) will be actively involved in the preparation of the web pages.