SOTERIA is a lodging community offering residential services to adult patients with psychiatric problems. It is managed by COOSS and hosts 12 people, whose mental conditions hinder their permanence within their family.
SOTERIA aims to improve the quality of life of its guests, enhancing their autonomy, reducing the risk of regression and limiting or avoiding social isolation. It proposes activities promoting the guests’ self-care, self-awareness and expressiveness, focusing on their relationships with operators, relatives, volunteers and local community.
In SOTERIA, Sport and Physical Activities are a key tool for therapeutic treatment: they organize several sport initiatives and programmes for their patients, in collaboration with grassroots organizations.
- Football and volleyball teams have been created with the support of educators and volunteers, which participate to national tournaments organized by ANPIS – National Association of non-professional Multisport Centers for the social Integration.
- A light gym program is active, lead by trainers from the Italian Union Sport for All – UISP (Regional Committee);
- Weekly mountain excursions are also proposed from June to September
All the above mentioned activities are open to the local community (general citizenship, young people and disadvantaged target groups, such as migrants), with the aim to exploit the inclusive power of sport.
It was reported that the most evident benefits of the proposed sports activities are a high participation, an increased sense of belonging, better human relations, sharing of experiences and positive feelings. The patients who have constantly participated to sport activities in the last five years, have decreased the use of medicinal drugs and inpatient treatments. It has also been noticed the difference in the patients/operators relation when the operator takes part to these extraordinary activities out of the working sessions: relations are stronger and have a relevant therapeutic impact with respect to those where this aspect is missing.
As a consequence of these sports experiences, an interesting process is emerging: SOTERIA is turning from a service which merely needs resources from the community to a service which creates resources and opportunities for the community.
SOTERIA has been involved in the research phase of the MENS project; both guests and operators will participate to the EVENTS project, a 3 day international sport event which will be held in Athens on September 2018.
Francesca Cesaroni – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mara Morici – email@example.com
Gilberto Maiolatesi – firstname.lastname@example.org
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