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Since the Italian Mental Health Act number 180/833 was enacted in 1978 the Italian Parliament is still discussing amendments regarding treatment for non-compliant patients.  ARAP is strongly engaged in this debate and has also established the following services.

arap001 copy copyA listening centre for family members.  When dramatic circumstances are referred we inform the public mental health services, draw their attention to inefficiencies, and if necessary insist that adequate assistance be provided since, most regrettably, the law in force does not oblige professionals in this field to cooperate with families.

Aware that families are alone when addressing the issues arising from a mental disorder of their relatives, ARAP has provided professional home assistance for the past four years. This service is the missing link between the public mental health services and patients who are often socially excluded and assisted only by their family.  These patients have reached an acceptable degree of awareness and independency within a period of two years and some have been accepted in the Local Health Service day centres. The results have been judged excellent.

We insist that new generation psychotropic drugs be prescribed, since they have fewer side effects, and that mental health professionals ascertain compliance and efficacy.  

We hold regular meetings with patients’ families in which they share news, help each other and learn about the most urgent requirements.   

We explain the procedure to obtain a curator or tutor and relative advantages.  

We provide information regarding psychiatric facilities operating within the National Mental Health Services locally and throughout the country.

Our members receive a periodical newsletter containing the most recent scientific discoveries, how to apply for an invalidity pension, recent employment laws and events concerning mental illness.

We provide basic legal information concerning prevention of admittance to Psychiatric Prison Hospitals to those patients with a severe illness who have committed and offence.

We are a member of the Psychiatric Councils of all the Departments of Mental Health and Local Health Services in the Lazio Region.

We attend specific conferences and congresses both in Italy and abroad.

We are a member of EUFAMI (European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness) and GAMIAN - Europe (Global Alliance Mental Illness Advocacy Networks) in order to keep abreast with European events and lobby for a single European Mental Health Act.

We have branches in Emilia Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Sicily and Sardinia.

We visit Therapeutic Communities in order to recommend them to our members when appropriate.

We attend Radio and Television programs concerning mental illness in order to demonstrate the real hardships and isolation of individuals with a mental condition and their families.

We fight to remove stigma and social rejection of people with mental illness.  We have established an annual prize for short films on this subject. 

Mental illness should not be hidden
Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of,
help us to break the silence!

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