EPAPSY (Association for Regional Development and Mental Health) was founded in 1988, on the initiative of the Professor of Social Psychiatry, Stelios Stylianidis, proposing an alternative model of psychiatric care in the community based on the principles of Social Psychiatry and Psychosocial Rehabilitation. EPAPSY’s history is synonymous with the history of psychiatric reform in Greece, the struggles for the abolition of psychiatric asylums, the destigmatization of mental illness and the care of people with psychosocial problems with respect towards their rights and dignity. It all began with the opening of the first Psychosocial Rehabilitation Guest House in Greece, in 1990. Since then, its people work tirelessly to provide integrated mental health care to the community.
Today, EPAPSY is one of the largest non-profit mental health service providers in Greece, having the scientific and administrative responsibility of twenty-three Psychosocial Rehabilitation Accommodation Units throughout Greece, two Mobile Mental Health Units in the Cyclades and two Day Centers in Athens and Larissa. Within its scientific framework, it coordinates and implements European and international projects in collaboration with UNHCR, the European Alliance Against Depression, the Bodossaki Foundation and other important entities, while it responds to social and health crises and natural disasters.
Being faithful to the principles of Community Psychiatry and Psychosocial Rehabilitation, it has supported the establishment and operation of Social Cooperatives of Limited Liability in the 5th Mental Health Sector of Attica, in Central Greece and Trikala, as well as of local mental health associations in Chalkida, the northern suburbs of Attica and Boeotia.
Always focused on its founding vision, EPAPSY regularly publishes scientific articles, delivers speeches and gives interviews in national media on the promotion of mental health in the community, psychosocial rehabilitation and the prevention of psychosocial problems. For there is no health without mental health and there is no mental health without equal access to the goods and services ensuring everyone’s right to live.
Providing holistic psychosocial care to the community, which is accessible to all everywhere, aiming at the early treatment of mental disorders, the prevention of suicidality and the reduction of involuntary hospitalizations
Raising awareness and educating the community, aiming at the elimination of the mental illness stigma and the psychosocial reintegration and rehabilitation of vulnerable mental health groups.
Advocating and defending the beneficiaries’ rights, through regular updates and legal support for themselves and their families, as well as mediation with the relevant government and civil society actors.
Promoting scientific excellence and innovation in the field of mental health, through constant research and documentation, the development of collaborations at national and international level, and the introduction of innovative approaches to treatment.
Contributing to the improvement of the public mental health system and to the successful reform of psychiatry in Greece, through the abolition and reform of asylums and the treatment of people with psychosocial difficulties in the community.
Democracy in therapy: We are confident that the community can be inclusive and therapeutic; thus, we strive to reduce social and geographic inequalities in psychosocial care. We believe that personal experiences are valuable for the improvement of the provided care and encourage the participation of both the beneficiaries and their families in the treatment plan.
The right to well-being: Driven by our vision of bridging the gap between providing psychiatric care and the substantial well-being of the beneficiaries, we are advocating for the constitutional rights of vulnerable mental health groups, respecting their personality, dignity, autonomy, recovery and equal social inclusion.
Quality in health care: We are consistently investing in interdisciplinary collaborations, the implementation of the WHO guidelines, the liaison with local services and actors, as well as in the regular training and evaluation of our personnel on their scientific work. The practice of supervision is applied in all our scientific approaches.
Transparency and accountability: The financial statement of our Association is audited annually by independent chartered accountants, while our budget is also submitted to the Hellenic Court of Audit. The principles of responsibility and accountability guide our work with our colleagues, our service beneficiaries and their families, our partner community entities and the state.
Our vision is to contribute to the creation of communities that are friendly and inclusive towards mentally vulnerable people and to be a beacon of mental health promotion in Greece, ensuring holistic community psychiatric care to everyone, everywhere, based on scientifically documented standards and ethical criteria.