La langue de l’inclusion sociale (The Language of Social inclusion)

I have recently returned from a visit to Perpignan, an exchange visit to see how across europe we can form an Association that brings together people with Mental health problems who have used sport and other leisure activities to assist in recovery and impact change in their communities.

Along side the nurses and leaders from COASTERS, we met up with other similar volunteers and workers from Belgium, France, and Slovakia.

It was interesting hearing and exploring how other countries and individuals are working on the ways in which attitudes and perceptions need to be changed and the similarities in which we work to change internal thoughts through collective sports and programmes designed to build self esteem and confidence.

J’ai récemment rentré d’une visite à Perpignan, une visite d’échange pour voir comment à travers l’Europe, nous pouvons former une association qui rassemble des gens avec des problèmes de santé mentale qui ont utilisé le sport et autres activités de loisirs pour aider à changer la récupération et l’impact dans leurs communautés.

À côté des infirmières et des dirigeants de VERRES, nous avons rencontré avec d’autres bénévoles similaires et les travailleurs de la Belgique, la France et la Slovaquie.

Il était intéressant d’entendre et d’explorer comment les autres pays et les individustravaillent sur la façon dont les attitudes et les perceptions doivent être modifiées et les similitudes dans lequel nous travaillons à changer les pensées internes à travers le sport collectif et des programmes visant à construire l’estime de soi et la confiance.

I have seen how even though our French was not as good as their English and our Slovakian non existent, we were not only able to understand each other, but shared and communicated our passion for making a difference, I have added a few videos of some of the people we met and the work they do at LaMaison Bleue.

We met some fascinating people with wonderful stories of hope and possibilities and explore how even more can be achieved if we work together,

Many people believe in recovery and yet in France many struggle to be given the opportunity to once again become fully fledged members of society , plagued with inconsistencies and bureaucracy, with funding shortages and struggles with discrimination and stigma, sound familiar?

Our visit to LaMaison Bleue

J’ai vu comment, même si notre français n’est pas aussi bon que leur anglais et de notre existant slovaque non, nous n’étions pas seulement capables de comprendre les uns les autres, mais partagée et communiquée notre passion pour faire une différence, j’ai ajouté quelques vidéos de certains des gens que nous avons rencontrés et le travail qu’ils accomplissent au LaMaison Bleue.

Nous avons rencontré certaines personnes fascinant avec de merveilleuses histoiresd’espoir et de possibilités et d’explorer comment encore plus peut être réalisé et de travailler ensemble,

Beaucoup de gens croient dans le rétablissement et encore en France beaucoup peinent à avoir la possibilité de redevenir membres à part entière de la société à nouveau, aux prises avec des contradictions et de la bureaucratie, avec des pénuries de financement et de luttes avec la discrimination et la stigmatisation,semble familier?

We are hoping to see the project in Bratislva in Slovakia soon and also visit the guys and girls in Belgium, with a culmination event in Oxford 2013.

Whatever the plans we are all passionate about the power of sport and how it be used for social change the individual languages are different, but the language of social inclusion is shared and universal and brings a light of hope for the future of people who for too long now have been discriminated against ,misunderstood and targeted.

Its only by sharing knowledge and experiences can we hope to have a lasting impact on members of our society not strangers in the wilderness.

Nous espérons voir le projet dans Bratislva en Slovaquie, bientôt, et aussi visiter les gars et les filles en Belgique, avec un événement culminant à Oxford 2013.

Quelles que soient les plans, nous sommes tous passionnés par le pouvoir du sportet comment il sera utilisé pour un changement social les différentes langues sont différentes, mais la langue de l’inclusion sociale est partagé et universel et apporte une lumière d’espoir pour l’avenir du peuple qui souffre depuis trop longtemps ont été discriminés incompris et ciblées.
Son seul en partageant les connaissances et les expériences que nous pouvons espérer avoir un impact durable sur les membres de notre société n’est pas des étrangers dans le désert.

It struck me that the language of social inclusion is the same as the universal language of football and allows for many comparisons and as all players hope for an equal chance to participate, so do people with a variety of people who have or are suffering from mental health problems.

The players hope for rules that are equal and fair, for the opportunity despite skill or ability, to be allowed to express themselves, not be bullied or prevented from that by so called ‘stronger’ members of the team, and most of all they all feel the same when a GOAL is scored and that is the joy of the sport, that allows equality of enjoyment.

Il m’a semblé que la langue de l’inclusion sociale est le même que le langage universel du football et permet des comparaisons nombreuses et, comme tous les joueurs espèrent une chance égale de participer, de sorte que les gens avec une variété de personnes qui ont ou qui sont atteintes de troubles mentaux problèmes de santé.

Les joueurs d’espoir pour des règles qui sont justes et équitables, pour l’occasion en dépit de compétences ou la capacité, pour être autorisé à s’exprimer, ne pas êtreintimidés ou empêchés d’qu’en soi-disant plus «forte» des membres de l’équipe, et surtout ils ont tous ressentent la même chose quand un but est marqué et qui est la joie de ce sport, qui permet l’égalité de jouissance.

We wish everyone a prosperous and equal new year in 2012. Where ever you maybe.

Nous souhaitons à tous une année prospère et égalitaire de nouvelles en 2012. Où que vous peut-être.


More Than Words

The theme of this years Oxford Social Inclusion Cup is “More than Words” and the message that stigma around mental illness and homelessness needs to change. Here are some thoughts around the stigma around mental illness.

For years and years people with mental illness were locked away in Asylums and people even used to pay to come and watch the patients as a form of entertainment.

Mental Health care has moved forward miles and miles since then and now many people with mental illness are living with support in the community working towards their recoveries and many more would have recovered completely. Although the services have moved forward and the public’s perception has changed and will continue to change, STIGMA is still very much alive.

The impact of negative words can be devastating and can “lock” people out of society in the same way that the Asylums used to.

How many newspaper articles have you seen using the words ” nutter” or “psycho”?

How many times have you heard people using these negative words to refer to someone’s behaviour?

So why does stigma still exist? Is it because of poor education around mental illness? For example in many shops you can still buy t-shirts that state “I used to be schizophrenic but we’re ok now”. This statement pokes fun at a serious illness and is factually inaccurate in that people with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia do not have a split mind or two separate identities. So why do people find statements like these acceptable and even amusing? Would there be a t-shirt that says “I had a heart attack but I’m fine now”? Or ” I’m blind what are you looking at”? It’s not right; why is physical illness socially acceptable but mental illness not?

If we look at the facts 1 in 4 people will experience some form of mental health problem in their lifetime. Therefore people who use these negative words are likely to be insulting a member of their family, a work colleague, a friend or even themselves in the future…

Mental illness doesn’t need to be that hard to comprehend. Take depression for example; imagine that day in your life when a close relative died, feel that sadness again, that is a symptom of depression. Add to that a change in your sleep pattern, a lack of appetite and a difficulty in concentrating and you may be diagnosed with depression. It’s something that we can all relate to. And with further education around other mental illnesses they can become relatable too at the end of the day it’s about relating to suffering and that is something that everyone has experienced in their lives.

Mental illness does not have to define somebody in the same way that people who are physically unwell are not defined by their diagnoses. Recovery is alive and well and is being pushed more and more into the forefront of modern mental health care. People can recover, their lives can change and as a result people can become stronger and stronger. When a person is on their journey of recovery do you think that it helps if they are called a nutter? If they are socially outcast from their communities? Or…… would it help if there was no shame? If they could approach their friends and families easily for support? If they could apply for jobs without worrying about discrimination?


– Challenge negative language in the press, in the workplace, in your communities.

– Learn more about mental illness

– Speak to your friends and families about these issues

– Join the campaigns that are running in social networks

– Attend events such as the Oxford Social Inclusion Cup

This list is by no means exhaustive and this post by no means expresses all of the impact that stigma can have….but what I hope it does express is the hope that stigma can be irradiated from our society.
More Than Words