Association of Families and Friends for the Mental Health of Serres
The Association of Families and Friends for Mental Health of Serres was founded in 1998 with the aim to offer support to the people with mental health disabilities in the Serres prefecture through an outpatient structure. The Association offers several programs and activities with the goal of improving the quality of life of the mentally disabled living with their families or carers. The Daily Treatment Program offered by the Association consists of occupational therapy, literature and jewelry making, for the support, education and entertainment of the mentally disabled. The Association also provides services to the caregivers of the mentally disabled and organizes various events that raise awareness regarding mental health. Between 2012 and 2014, the Association was also in charge of a social solidarity umbrella Program entitled: “Social Structures against Poverty in the Municipality of Serres”. This Program targeted people in need in the Municipality of Serres. Through this umbrella Program, the Association offered several programs. The two main ones were a Social Store, whereby monthly packages containing food supplies and household items were offered to 150 families; and a Hot Meal Program offering lunch on a daily basis to 100 people in need.
The grant regards the creation of a program aimed at the prevention and treatment of psychosocial problems, especially depression, associated with retirement. The program involves the implementation of a holistic, non-pharmaceutical model that promotes an active, safe and smooth adjustment to the non-active professional life that follows retirement. The program offers individual and group psychological support, presentations/discussions by health related experts, computer instruction, movie nights, cultural excursions and related recreational activities. One of the main pillars of the program is the creation of a team of volunteers that will act in any crisis situation. This pillar was carefully selected as findings from official research indicate that volunteerism increases life expectancy and strengthens physical and mental health. The beneficiaries of the program are 100 elderly residents of Serres who experience psychosocial problems associated with retirement.