A new, psychosocial support center was recently launched in Portugal by Dianova to help mitigate the impact of the crisis on the health, welfare and productivity of the Portuguese population. The global economic crisis we are experiencing has entailed deep public spending cuts undermining health care, education and other social services, with dramatic consequences on the well-being and productivity of millions. It is estimated that the economic repercussions of mental health related problems have contributed to a sharp decline in Portuguese GDP by 3 to 4%.
At the heart of social and relational skills (the so-called soft skills) and resilience to stress, a positive mental health is critical to help inducing emotional and cognitive flexibility essential to people’s well-being, personal abilities, proficiency in coping with adversity in addition to increasing their productivity at school or at work and to their overall contribution to society. Such health capital is ultimately an important economic factor in the healthy functioning of the individual, family, community and society in general.
In order to counteract the decline of protective factors (job security, social support networks and stable incomes) and the increased risk factors, including social isolation and alcohol and drug misuse, resulting from the current crisis, Dianova created a center for health and psychosocial support to provide a low cost, quality response accessible to all regardless of their economic and social status.
Dianova’s psychosocial support center is located in the heart of the capital city, Lisbon, a stone’s throw from D. Estefania Hospital. The center provides psychosocial care services for disadvantaged, socially and emotionally vulnerable adults, children and families.
A staff of five mental health professionals, social workers and youth workers offers comprehensive social and healthcare services, including psychological evaluation, counseling, psychotherapy, family counseling, intervention with adolescents, and vocational and educational counseling services.
The primary objective of Dianova’s psychosocial support center is to facilitate access to mental health services. The center’s various interventions are dedicated to: improving vulnerable people’s emotional and psychological health through individual counseling (depression, phobias, etc.), helping them cope with their social, professional and educational challenges. The psychosocial support center offers family mediation and conflict resolution services; it helps people clarify their issues and goals so that they can create their own educational, professional or personal life plan, in addition to helping them manage the change process and face possible risk factors.
A dedicated web site has been created to promote Dianova’s new psychosocial support center and improve access to the public. Detailed information on the various services provided by the center is available in the English and Portuguese languages. Starting from October 11 until the end of the month a free consultation will be offered as part of the campaign “One day of shopping on the Net”, promoted by the E-commerce and interactive advertising association.