One-on-one interview on the inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem

Brian fra projektgruppen har lavet dette interview med lederen af social psykiatrien i Vejen –

Charline Borgen Amdisen Bossen cbab@vejen.dk

1. What kind of services are available at your organization for the disadvantaged or vulnerable groups of society?

The social pedagogical center, which deals with the entire vulnerable area and the social psychiatric area and the entire disability area within the section 85 area, (the support in one’s own home). 4 wards have different sections, there is some sheltered employment together with the job center, (section 32) – so the really mentally ill citizen with many broken courses, we provide them with recovery-oriented support so that they can have their ability to work restored. We then do this together with section 103 (sheltered employment) in our platform. So it is both employment-oriented efforts and education-oriented. Then there is the 24-hour area, which is a 24-hour ward for 9 citizens with special psychiatric problems, who may also have dual diagnoses. There is staff around the clock. Then there is another housing offer where 3 residents live. In this housing offer there is support 20 hours a week from an educator. Basically one would think that they will stay there for a long time, but we actually have a good flow on them, because we work so recovery-oriented, they actually come out to master their own lives again.

The 82 area is the new section in the Service Act which came with revision Jan 2018, where they chose to say that they would focus much more on the preventive and early intervention (located in 82 a, b and c) which is also the emergency function. What forms the foundation for them is actually our recovery course department. Where we have a lot of recovery courses that citizens can access regardless of which section there are in. For example, voice-listening courses, learn to tackle your anxiety course, economics course. Everything that is needed for, so that the citizens can master their own lives again.

2. Is there a system or organizational structure (specify – national, local, individual) created to support social group’s initiatives?

 When you basically stand for recovery, there is a prerequisite, for it is the citizens’ initiatives that drive, it is their hopes and dreams that drive what they develop. That is the basic foundation. We are constantly developing our efforts in our 24-hour department, it has been put a little more into structure, in that way that we Have citizen meetings every Wednesday evening, where the citizens report what kind of efforts the are missing- we also do this in our employment part, we run it as a regular labor market, so they have a cooperation committee where there are representatives of the citizens (employees) representatives for the staff (management) here we are talking about what should be of courses, employment initiatives, what kind of workshops we should have here. So we are constantly evolving – so we are very busy using the citizens’ voice. And what motivates them towards a change and development in life. For example, we have a lot of guys with ADHD who sit and play Computer all night. We have worked with that and now we have an IT workshop. Then they can be there and get a togetherness during everyday life and get something employment-oriented, some identity and meaning, and then they sleep at night. It is constantly evolving, depending on what kind of citizen there is, but also what the citizen says in the various forums we have.

  • If yes, how the ideas are approached and supported in your organization (other organization you are working with)?

We have different kinds of direct meeting forums, for example in our employment department, we have, for those who work in the Café, Café meetings, where they, for example, help to set the menu, develop the offer – so they are very involved. If they want, they have a lot of opportunities to make their voices heard

  • What kind of partnerships or community organizational activities are used in order to support socially disadvantaged group initiatives? 

We have a collaboration with UC Syd. –  where the citizens are allowed to tell their story, through interwiew with students.

  • How the social groups are involved and participate in the decision – making process, if they are active in community, organized activities or partnership?

The citizens’ are participating in the editorial Team (together with Uc syd) to develop various initiatives to get their voices heard.

Should I Mention some obstacles towards sustainability for the project. I think there is something linguistic in it in the way the project is structured, which I think is difficult for the citizens to understand – it does not become their language, it becomes foreign to them, and I think that is why they sometimes distances themselves. I think it becomes alienated, because there are some foreign words. there is too much professional talk, which may actually be an agenda item at another meeting.

One suggestion could be to turn the agenda around.  How could you plan it, so that it becomes the citizens ‘agenda, the citizens’ meeting.  Because they have some mental challenges that make it difficult, but how can we break down those barriers.  When they get some new experiences, that they actually can do it, then the barriers are not so big anymore. For example, with the women’s club we have, it runs, just because they have had so many good experiences. So it’s about turning it around so it’s the citizens’ meeting, because it’s their editorial team, it’s their voice, and I do not think they have an experience of that. So that way I think there are some barriers in making this come alive

6. And how their ideas are developed further and may be transformed into employability/ meaningful activities or social business?

Other possible partners or how the project could be developed further You could think voluntarily   – so talk to the citizens about how they see the seetings, and maybe educate some volunteers to be a part of it. Then you could dismantle the whole expert system around it

A way of getting it transformed into some kind of employability, could be to involve the job-center. Try to involve the mentors, so it is in their consciousness, then the job center should want to go into it.

It also could be interesting if the project was a bigger part of in some of the study time projects at UC syd. You could do some kind of a talent course. What if the students started some initiatives, and ran the group, along side the citizens.  They could subscribe to the project, when they start on the Specialization and then help to initiate initiatives. Have a citizen group that they did something with, and where it was the students who supported the citizens’ course. It could be exciting both for the students but also for the citizens because they will have another opportunity to get on stage and have their voices heard. It is a very good thing, that some of the citizens comes to the Pedagogical education. Some pedagogy students are also here and are taught by one the citizen from the editorial team and me in recovery and empowerment, but afterwards they are gone again, so it is always such a one-way thing, that does not get this dynamic and synergy in it.  I think there are some brilliant students who would be able to participate in this. The students could ask the citizens “will you cooperate with us for 1.5 years through our education, and in different ways get your voice over the edge” The citizens could get some experience and the students could help them make their voices heard, for a longer period.

  • What kind of resources are available in the initial (first) development stage? If needed, please, specify from your experience and needs in your microproject.
  • What kind of resources are available for the further development and formation of social organization (social start-up or social enterprise)? If needed, specify – legal support, financial, administrative, available premises, personnel working with individuals or groups etc.?

We have the resources, because we prioritize it. We do not work with „packages“ here, or “one-size-fits-all” The citizens who are here, they have their individual course. Now, for example, in the editorial group, the two citizens say that they would like to make this podcast, then we support it. Trying to see what I have to do for them for the project to come alive. Or we make their own (citizens’) network, for example some citizens want a women’s club – We (the employees) supported them for a while, but now we support it just by facilitating the framework – a space, a physical locality. If something is bothering them, we (staff) are there, but otherwise we have withdrawn, because now they run it themselves

  • Are there any barriers and obstacles or other restrictions that may be faced by socially disadvantage groups of society in development of such organizational structures (social enterprise, start – up)? If yes, what kind of barriers and obstacles? Please describe with an example! If needed, specify with e.g., application procedure, financial, communication and coordination capacity or other forms you have been facing in your microproject experience.

I think that you sometimes have to dare to challenge the system logics, because if I was to be very square, then I could say “well you are not visited to this- ergo sum, you can not do this” But that is not how we work, because or work is so recovery-oriented. That means that it is the citizens’ hopes and dreams that motivate. All the recovery course department, all the efforts we have, all citizens can access them. If it has a meaning for them in their recovery process, then they can be a part of it, even if they have not been visited for it, we can not let that slow us down, it must not be a barrier. Because if the citizen has the motivation to, for example, take a course in dealing with anxiety, that is where we have to catch it, then we can not wait for 6 months for a caseworker to find out. We must seize the present. We are allowed to do that in accordance with section 82B where it is possible to make clarification courses for up to half a year, without there being an authority inside, so we are actually our own authority the first half year,so that the citizen’s and we can develop a recovery workbook which the citizen.

10. How the insights mentioned above could be changed and adjusted more to the needs of socially disadvantaged groups for such inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem development (administrative, organizational, financial or other form)? In which way?

  1. Are there any societal conditions (attitudes, interaction in society or stigma, cultural context) that effects the development of inclusive entrepreneurship?

There is still a lot of stigma and taboo in society, and when we look at the mentally vulnerable and the mentally ill (who are in the center of social psychiatry) then there is also a lot of fear in our society. A citizen, from our inpatient department, has, for example, started an internship in Netto and it requires a lot of from employees in Netto, and the citizen to be part of Netto for the first time, in order to break down that barrier, that there is nothing dangerous in being eg schizophrenic. Nothing bad about Netto, but that’s the social trend there is. There are some fear stories and some taboos and stigmas that limit the citizens. We try to help destigmatize them, i.a. also through the “Hear me out” project – so that citizens can make their voices heard in a different way than just here. I also try to write some articles with them and also go out and seize where the citizens have their everyday lives, to make a different story. But yes, there is something that sets some limits.

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