Mental Health: the pandemic has not stopped the activities of “Pari & Dispari”

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The year of the pandemic did not stop “Pari & Dispari” the association of Legnano dedicated to people with mental suffering, still at the search for a new and large headquarters. Internet and the willpower of all the actors of this reality have made it possible to overcome the numerous obstacles that emerged during the health emergency.

To keep this reality alive, monitored from afar by the doctor Giorgio Bianconi director of the psychiatry unit of Legnano, are citizens suffering from mental illness, sector operators and some volunteers. «It is precisely those with a disability who are an active part of this association – explains the president of Pari & Dispari Massimo Esposito -. Most of the members are users or former users, the board itself is made up of their representatives. The family members present in the association are in turn part of a self-help group ».

Between closures and openings dictated by the virus Sars-Cov2 virtual meetings and lessons on art history and photography were held. All the activities in the presence and the trips out of town have been canceled. “It has been a year that has seen all certainties blown away: the only thing that remains solid are the uncertainties – comments the president Esposito, former volunteer of the association -. 2020 was difficult for us too, but through the online platforms we managed to keep in touch. Furthermore, when the contagion line allowed it, we also managed to meet again in the presence ».

“Pari & dispari”, born in 2014, has 100 members under the district of mental health services of the Asst Ovest Milanese which includes Magenta and Legnano. The association has two offices provisional: one at the Spazio Incontro Canazza and the other at the “Il Salice” Center in Mazzafame. «The dream is to have our own home:
a meeting place for the community open 24 hours a day – says the president -. Who knows if institutions like the Municipality can give us a hand in achieving this great goal. Another hope is to find an educator who is not in business who can give us a hand: it would be an added value for us ».

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The association’s mission is supporting prevention and overcoming the static condition of the psychiatric patient. «Prevention means spreading culture and spreading culture, it means helping to understand. We collaborate closely with the operators of the psychosocial center and the day center – explains Esposito -. And we use the same basic tools: empathy, suspension of judgment, welcoming and listening. There is a lot of attention to the language used because it conveys concepts that are sometimes distorted. We believe it is fundamental to abandon the static condition of a psychiatric patient, to regenerate new aspirations, to live, to work, to love, and last but not least to resume social life ».

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