// WHAT IS THE PSYCHOLOGY IN THE COMMUNITY?
//PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHOLOGY IN THE COMMUNITY
1. Psychology in the community promotes development of such communities that include all of its members and in which community members feel responsible for all the others and the the community in general. This includes understanding and evaluating the various human perspectives, including values, attitudes and needs of the most frequently disempowered social groups (ethnic, racial and sexual minorities, poor people as well as people with physical, intellectual or mental disabilities).
2. Psychologists in the community are focused on the strength and potential of disabled people, on improving their competences, instead of emphasizing the psychopathology.
3. Psychologists in the community are trying to act from the non-hierarchical positions. They strive strengthen and share power with disadvantaged individuals and groups.
4. Psychology in the community promotes multidisciplinary approach and cooperation, promotes and strives to develop the services that involve interdepartmental cooperation and communication.
5. Psychologists in the community evaluate and use the expertise of those who work successfully and function in the community, including the knowledge and experience that comes from users themselves, who are advocate for their rights and their family members.
6. Psychology in the community focused on the prevention of psychopathology and promoting positive mental health.
7. Psychology in the community focused on the exercise of the rights that are guaranteed to all members of the community.
8. Psychologists in the community using their knowledge in implementing the programs which affect broad groups of people as well as to individuals.
9. Psychologists in the community tend to encourage the social changes in the wider sense. They are active and interested in influencing on the social policies that promote empowerment and respect for the disenfranchised and marginalized people and groups.
10. Psychologists in the community participate in the political and social actions aimed at overcoming injustice and inequality in the system of social services and society in general.
// PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH
Health is one of the fundamental values in human life, but also in the development of society in general and the significant component of general health and human well-being makes mental or psychological health. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes mental health as a state of well-being and not just the absence disease, in which the individual achieves personal abilities, successfully solves the usual stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to the community. The importance of mental health has become important in the definition of public health as “a state of physical, mental and social well-being”.
The importance of psychological health for individuals and society as a whole has been recognized in the policy documents of the European Union (Green paper on mental health), the World Health Organization (Comprehensive mental health action plan 2013-2020), and in Croatian documents (The National Strategy of mental health for the period 2011 – 2016).
// PREVENTION ACTIVITIES IN MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Psychology in the community strives to act in such a way to prevent distortion of psychological health, or occurrence of difficulties, problems and disorders. Action of RCTs in the field of psychology in the community focused on preventive activities, activities for the promotion of mental health of people who are without difficulties, improving the quality of life and social inclusion of people with mental health problems but also are focused on the development of resources and community capacity with whom they are cooperating in order to implement of preventive activities for improving mental health.
// THE ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS FOCUSED ON PROTECTION AND PREVENTION OF MENTAL HEALTH
– Universal prevention through its educational activities which are directed to the general population, regardless of whether these individuals and groups exposed to a risk of disturbance of mental health or not, preventing the occurrence of problems and disorders. Also, promote awareness, knowledge and skills in order to improve facing with various life issues, and promotes a feeling of well-being and functioning of individuals and people in their environment.
– Selective prevention is aimed at individuals and groups who are at particular risk of disruption of mental health, such as persons and groups that are vulnerable to poverty, refugees and returnees, victims of torture and other civilian victims of war and their families, young people leaving alternative care, single-parent families, children and young people who live in areas with fewer opportunities. Activities of selective prevention are conducted through lectures, educational and experiential workshops and training sessions aimed at improving the social and life skills, psychological counseling and psychotherapy.
– Indicated prevention, through detection of people that are already manifest indicators of psychological problems or disorders, is taking action to overcome or mitigating the consequences of those difficulties or disorders. Also, the indicated prevention acts are focused on improving the quality of life and inclusion into the community of persons with impaired psychological health. Individuals and groups that are in our projects and programs covered by the indicated prevention are the victims of torture and civilian victims of war and their families, when it is due to the trauma that they experienced occurred disruption of psychological health and development of symptoms.
RCT is committed to the systematic care of mental health. That is why we, in cooperation with both customers and with the experts and all those interested in local communities want to enhance the capacity of communities to improve the mental health and quality of life of all members, especially those most vulnerable. We strive to build relationships and ongoing communication between individuals, organizations and interpreters in the local community in order to increase social cohesion and solidarity.
// THE COMMUNITIES WHERE WE ARE ACTING
RCT is from the very beginning, active in communities affected by war casualties, whose members were exposed to massive losses, traumas and forced migrations. Significant effects of war are broken social connection, which RCT through its activities seeks to rebuild since we believe that the solidarity in community makes the most important support system that help the individuals to overcome the difficulties, but also is good for its growth and development.
// ACTUAL PROJECTS
NETWORK PREVENTION OF MENTAL HEALTH (more about the project)
HEALTHY CHILDREN – HEALTHY COMMUNITIES (more about the project)
PROMOS: Project mobile counseling services for young people in the Croatian Pounje (more about the project)
“Give me your word!” The promotion and protection of children’s rights in the community with fewer opportunities (more about the project)
“Mom, are we family?” Supporting and strengthening the single-parent families in communities with fewer opportunities (link)
“Effective communication – better quality of life for users and employees at home for the elderly and disabled people” project financed by the City of Zagreb in 2012
COMMUNICATION, TEAMWORK, SUPERVISION: for improvement of care or elderly and disabled people- Project funded by the city of Zagreb in 2013
// OUR ACTIVITIES
Our projects and programs in communities on the field of psychology are focused on:
– prevention of discrimination, addiction, violence and other forms of socially unacceptable behavior of young people, development of psychosomatic and psychological problems and suicide in people who are victims of torture or otherwise suffered war trauma,
– providing information, psychological, social, medical and legal support to users and communities,
– development and improvement of life skills that help people at risk to solve personal, family and social problems, overcoming stress, crises and traumatic experiences,
– improving the knowledge and skills of professionals and other interested members of the community to carry out activities of prevention, protection and improvement of mental health care, supervision, support and training for preventing and overcoming professional stress and burnout,
– immediate psychotherapy, crisis intervention and monitoring for victims of torture, and users who have been identified through the project activities, and they are in the state of trauma or chronic stress,
– empowering users through training, workshops, lectures (for children and young people, parents, key persons in communities, local partners in the project); called. “Bottom-up” approach,
– informing about human rights, psychological, social, legal and other issues,
– mediation in strengthening of collaboration and connections between state institutions and local structures in projects aimed at achieving the priority needs in the communities of special state concern.