Community service for psychiatric patients

By Wu Jin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, February 18, 2013
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It has been more than once for Alessandro Lerato to purchase the handcrafts from Song Xiaoyan (Angela), a psychiatric patient residing in Rosa Villa, a rehabilitation center tucked away in the Mafang Community of Beijing's northwestern Haidian District.

Wu Jian, the resident of Rosa Villa, introduces his calligraphy on a poem of Chinese famous literati Du Fu (712-770). [ by Wu Jin]

This time, he bought a little tony bear, made from plastic beads, for his daughter who is thousands of miles away. He said his daughter fell in love with those magic beads once she saw the delicate artworks.

"She came to visit and danced with them," Lerato recalled with a smile sneaking onto his face. A coordinator of Italian Solidariet a'e Servizio (SeS), a non-governmental organization (NGO) focusing on the popularization of community psychiatric recuperation services, Lerato holds a strong belief in bringing mentally disordered patients into society with the support of a relevant community service.

Inspired by the movement of the complete close-down of Italian psychiatric in-hospital enclosures of the 1970s, SeS cooperated with the Peking University Institute for Mental Health / the Sixth Hospital of Peking University (PUIMH) in establishing Rosa Villa, a community recuperation center, where the patients can venture outside to shop around, visit neighbors or even be on duty as a supermarket assistant.

Over the past three years, Rosa Villa, sponsored by the European Union (EU), has attracted more than a dozen residents -- the term used by the staff to show their respect towards the patients.

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