Romania

Cluj-Napoca

PARTNER

Anouk Foundation - Fundatia Inocenti

Improving quality of life and wellbeing at the Clinic of Pediatric Psychiatry and Addiction

2017 - 2018

Children and teenagers hospitalized for mental health diagnosis and treatment face many challenges and go through a deeply personal and stressful experience of failure. This can seriously damage their self-esteem and self-confidence and often deters them from completing their treatment. This is even more common in counties like Romania, where mental health facilities continue to follow a rigid, purely medical approach.

The current mental health strategy for children and adolescents adopted by Romania has identified the need for integrating educational and psychosocial interventions to complement psychiatric treatment. The strategy also promotes the training and establishment of multidisciplinary teams in mental health institutions and considers it a priority to develop awareness on mental health disorders and their prevention.

This project aims to ensure proper mental health care for children and teenagers hospitalized for diagnosis and treatment at the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Addiction Clinic in Cluj-Napoca. Patients’ needs are considered from a holistic perspective, taking into account both the medical approach as well as a psychological, emotional and social one. This combined path ensures a better compliance to treatment, a higher quality of life within the clinic and a more promising recovery in the long term.

As part of the project, an experienced clinical psychologist and a team of psychology students from the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca support the clinic’s medical staff providing individual and group counseling, art therapy, play therapy, occupational therapy and sensitizations for dealing with different types of crises (mental, emotional, school-related, family, social). These sensitizations are geared towards helping the children identify feelings and concerns related to their illness and discuss potential coping mechanisms.

Families are also supported in understanding the prescribed treatment and the needs of their children. If necessary, they attend individual or family counseling to better deal with the challenges of their child’s mental disorder. The community of Cluj-Napoca is also sensitized through mental health awareness and prevention campaigns.

Finally, research shows that enhancing the healthcare environment with specific types of artwork can help accelerate a patient’s healing process. This is why this project also includes an intervention by Anouk Foundation to create a more soothing and uplifting atmosphere at the clinic though bespoke hand-painted murals.

Two highly experienced artists trained in the Anouk methodology will create therapeutic murals in the pediatric psychiatry ward and the addiction clinic. These will be designed with the help of the patients and the hospital personnel, who will be involved in the creative process. Creating a calming environment, which nurtures and supports patients, families and caregivers, will increase the overall wellbeing of the hospital’s residents.

Project highlights

Activities, team and beneficiaries

300

hospitalized children received support

250

hospitalized children improved their condition and gained coping mechanisms

100

family members supported

2

highly experienced artists involved

8

murals painted to promote calm and healing

2,000+

people in the community raised their awareness on children’s mental health disorders, prevention and care