Association of families and friends for the mental health of Serres (SOFPSI N.SERRON)

We are a user/family-run, non-governmental, non-profit, not state-funded, volunteer-based, certified organization for the provision of social welfare services in the northern rural area of Serres in Greece that provides welfare and basic services to mentally challenged people and economic-crisis hit people at risk of developing mental health problems, and advocates for shaping an inclusive society without stigma and discrimination


Since our establishment in 1998 we have been giving real tangible hope and opportunities for inclusion to people facing mental health-related barriers and psychoeducation to their families, as well as opportunities to the community to eliminate shameful walls of exclusion. With increasing solidarity and despite the great economic crisis that puts volunteer organizations in danger of extinction, we continue our social work in the mental health field, fill the gaps in services and the democratic deficit in human rights enjoyment.
We may not have achieved equality but we have brought the need for equality to everyone’s attention all over Greece. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and we have inspired thousands of people to take their first steps towards equality and inclusion. We will continue to spend the years to come enabling mentally-challenged people to find meaning in their lives.

Type of partner/expertise sought

We are looking for:

partners already involved in capacity building for NGOs to strengthen our role in tackling social inequalities, poverty, social exclusion and human rights abuses of the vulnerable group of mentally challenged people including those who may face multiple discriminations (women, Roma, migrants, asylum seekers, people at risk of poverty or below poverty line and people with other disabilities).

user/family-run organizations to develop synergies and project partnerships to share good practices and to promote active inclusion and prevent the social exclusion of the disadvantaged and extremely marginalized communities we serve

partners to lend us their experience to increase our watchdog capacity towards the Greek authorities, reinforce our role as change makers and influencers within society, and increase our "meaningful" participation in initiating policies, laws and practices

partners with experience in developing revenue generating opportunities for the employment-excluded vulnerable communties we serve

Type of expertise/competence offered

We are offering
* legal expertise related to the international human rights standards, including in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities
* experience in the application of WHO QualityRights project aiming to improve quality and human rights in both inpatient and outpatient facilities; build capacity among service users, families and health workers to understand and promote rights and recovery; establish a strong movement of persons with mental disabilities to provide mutual support, conduct advocacy and contribute to decision-making processes; and reform national legislation and policy in line with international human rights standards and best practice.
* fifteen years of experience in the field of mental health promotion putting patients and families first
* experience in promoting the "human-rights based recovery oriented approach to mental health care" through training seminars for service users, carers and mental health professionals
* EU recognition of our work
* certification of Project Management Capacity
* experience in running EU-funded NSRF projects promoting social inclusion and combating poverty (soup kitchen, social grocery, social pharmacy, time bank, social vegetable garden)
* leaders and followers characterized by inexhaustible passion, fervent enthusiasm, imaginative nature, pioneering actions, principled behavior and commitment expressed forcefully and energetically to something bigger than themselves
* an extensive network of remarkable and inspired volunteers
* the capacity to help people with mental disabilities and carers identify the vision they had but didn't know they had and overcome feelings of shame and guiltiness
* Greek, English, French and Italian proficiency
* the benefits of having the local Media on our side

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