Conference Poland

Empowerment College-multiplier event, Poland, Wieliczka, 26.09.2018
Empowerment College as an innovative activitiy in the context of the community based psychiatry.
The ideas, goals and intellectual outputs on which they are based upon.

During the day of the 26th of September 2018 dedicated to the presentation of the  Empowerment College we introduced the public of about 200 participants from Poland and 5 from abroad into the activities of the project, its ideas and goals. Through the presentations and discussions the theme of the Empowerment College and our work leading to its implementation has been spread among a number of people.

The first presentation “Empowerment College” was presented by Aleksandra Orzechowska and Mateusz Biernat. The presentation started by the explanation what Empowerment means in polish language. After that, the notion of empowerment has been presented in sociological context, as an idea of the civil society and its elements as the activity, equality of rights and the involved participation. In this meaning, the empowerment refers to the groups and the individuals who can be discriminated, marginalized, to the minorities. The groups and the individuals can be strengthened in undertaking the decisions, in having the influence and to get the power.

The next presented context of the empowerment was its individual and structural dimensions. The individual dimension shows the leader in the personal life, the structural dimension shows the leader in the society. The goals of the first is to restore the sense of the authorship, the self-confidence, enrichments in knowledge and skills. The goals of the second is to change the system and to have an influence on those who have the power.

The idea of the development of the system of organisation and administration and also the didactics and teaching programme in the Empowerment College has been presented. It has been explained that the project is realised as a part of the programme Erasmus+. It has been explained that all the teams from Germany, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, England and Bulgaria work on the intellectual outputs. The themes of the intellectual outputs have been presented.

As a part of the manual and the curriculum it has been shown among other things that there will be a place for education and reflection for people after the mental crisis, the families, the professionalists, and others interested in mental health. It has been explained that the competences leading to a better life (coming back to oneself), the recovery, feeling the power, having influence, being responsible for oneself, self acceptance and feeling safe and capability to think and being able to think in a critical way (coming back to society) can be achieved through the participation in the Empowerment College’s courses.

The partners groups and the polish group have been described and the best practices of each group have been introduced to the public.

The idea of the Individual Learning Plan has been presented with the explanation of what it is and what are the outcomes of using it.
The information about the intellectual outputs as Best Practice Empowerment and Recovery, Teaching and Learning were very influential and gained a lot of interest from the public. During a discussion we tried to explain how we want to implement this ideas in the Empowerment College and how to make it possible to open the Empowerment Colleges soon.

Dr Malgorzata Trojanska with Ewa Kubic in their presentation “Role of a recovery assistant in the process of prevention and support of persons threatened by mental crisis” talked about the possibility of opening a first Empowerment College in Kracov with the cooperation with PIOD. Dr. Daniel Fisher had a lecture about “how to through education strengthen the voice of experienced people“.

The recovery assistants shared their opinions about the needs of the courses on which we had in the set of Intellectual Outputs which are health and well being, budget management, my rights, participation and social inclusion, stigma, self exploration. They shared their life stories within this subject. The results of the lectures show that there is a need of courses on which the people will work on this subjects.

The idea of Empowerment College in a form of e-learning has been also discussed as well as the role of the recovery assistants in the teaching process in the Empowerment College.

The multiplier event caused a lot of interest. The participants were curious and well informed by the speakers. We think that we created a good background for implementing the Empowerment College in Poland.

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