Thursday, February 2, 2023

“I lost my house, my job, I got divorced and now I’ve got it all fixed”: the impact of social services on people with mental health problems

“In 2015 I lost my house, my job, I got divorced… I had no reason to live at that time. Today when I have it all again I think how important it is”. These are the words of Marina ML, a user of the Fuencaral labor rehabilitation center that Grupo 5 manages for the community of Madrid. The center treats people with mental health problems who have varying degrees of disability in order to return them to their normal lives as fully as possible, as in Marina’s case.

Greater well-being and better health (80%), fewer medical visits per year (-1.3%), more employment and more regular social interactions (74.3%), are some of the factors that make up the social value generated by managed services by Grupo 5 and It is pertinent to present the pioneering study on the impact of social services initiated by AFI, a financial, economic and technical consultancy. This study analyzes the social value generated by Group 5’s activity among people with severe mental disorders who are users of its services and their families, 70.2% of whom believe that it has provided attention, support, supervision and care time reduced. Their family members reduce the weekly time devoted to caregiving by an average of 13 hours 23 minutes, which could be invested in hours of work, leisure or training.

“This study has been a challenge for Afi because there are no previous studies or indicators and it represents a starting point for further research in this line” declared Rosa Oliveros, a member of the Afi team. For his part, Miguel Simón, director of innovation and institutional relations at Grupo 5, highlighted that “this study represents an innovation within the social sector and within Grupo 5, because it helps us to measure the impact that that our actions improve people’s lives. Quality of life, which is our daily objective. In addition to being able to offer data that supports investments in the sector”.

a free and full life

The study, which focused its data on the area of ​​homelessness and mental health, provides some general results that underline the importance of developing social service activity on the quality of life of people who access Group 5 centers for daily independence and The two factors analyzed by Afi show that 80% of users claim to be more independent and there has been an increase in the number of people with whom they maintain regular social contact (74.3%). Meanwhile, each user has announced an increase in the weekly dedicated time to study (formally and informally) by 1 hour 33 minutes. Finally, almost half (47.5%) of homeless people who use centers managed by Grupo 5 confirm that they have improved their chances of accessing employment by participating in selection processes, and one in ten (10 9%) said they have obtained a job in the past year as a result of the support they received.

“Marina has been registered for a year, and has worked with us for a further three to get her back into the job market. With her we set up an individual plan and the development was very positive as was her previous training And it had already worked. It was a matter of reactivating their equipment”, for Francisco Ballesteros (Madrid, 40 years old), manager of Grupo 5’s mental health sector. Equipment is a specific task that each person needs. Carried out with understand the return to work activity: curriculum, work course, preparation of the activity and interview “Many interviews – explains Marina – we prepared interviews almost every day”.

Economic Impact of Social Inclusion

By analyzing the care provided in mental health and homeless care centers managed by Grupo 5, we can estimate the social value and measure it in terms of improvements in the quality of life of users and their families, drug consumption, number of Can the number of medical visits, and variables such as the time that each user devotes to studies or social contacts.

In the two areas analyzed in the AFI study, mental health and homelessness, the data shows a significant improvement in the quality of life of users with approximately 80% in terms of their health status. For unscheduled or emergency medical visits, nearly four out of ten respondents claim to have reduced their recurrence. Overall, they averaged 1.3 fewer visits per person and year, which means a reduction in dedicated spending to cover the cost of these services, which amounts to more than €825,400 per year, according to Afi’s analysis.

When it comes to recovering physical health, having a regular time to wake up, take medicine, get to and from work is essential. “We worked on it for three years at the center and now it is something mechanical for me, but before I could not imagine how much I needed it”, says Marina. And it is that, in general, keeping the mechanisms of self-care active is just another means of continuing day after day in the quest for physical and mental recovery.

In Marina’s case, she took advantage of her time in Group 5 to train as an administrator, a job she does today and in which she has found a new support network, with colleagues in the same position: “Going back Thanks to work I am back to living. I have a partner, friends, my co-workers are my support group. Earlier, if I had problems at work, I would lock myself in the bathroom to cry Now I discuss with people who understand me, who advise me from their own experience”.

The activity carried out by Grupo 5 is important to address many of the main socioeconomic challenges of the 21st century, such as social inclusion, care, promoting longevity and personal autonomy, and addressing dependency. And it is that being able to relate normally and leave the stigma behind is vital in recovering the mental and physical health of users. “Feeling like a normal person with my problems and things, but normal. After having some routine, having people to talk to and share with, I have it all thanks to what we’ve done here”, Marina concluded.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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