GHP September 2015

ghp September 2015 | 79 health and social care New Ways for Prevention The Palatinate region braces itself: Roads to resilience - a Palati- nate initiative for the promotion of preventive approaches beyond the health care system Strategies based on prevention improve the popu- lation’s mental health. Nevertheless prevention pro- grammes are given less than 7% of the overall health system budget in Germany. With regard to the treatment of the mentally ill, with complex needs, we have decided to think in a radically new way. Our idea is to strengthen resilience on different so- cial levels such as individuals, families, enterprises and communities. The ability to advance personally in times of crisis and not to be broken by these crises, to be able to cope well with changes and with the ups and downs of life – this is what is known as resilience. Resilience is of utmost importance both for individuals and organisations. Resilience at an individual level, i.e. the strengthening of an individual’s mental resistance, is a key aspect of the services provided by the Pfalzklinikum für Psychiatrie und Neurologie - AdöR (Service Provider for Mental Health). Around 30,000 people are treated and cared for at their 12 locations annually, either as in-patients, in day clinics or as out-patients. In order to boost their mental health on a long term basis and to counteract any further increase in mental illnesses, the main focus of the efforts has to be on prevention. The preventive fostering of individual resilience will therefore play a central role. Preventive measures concerning this topic are very important in working life and in daily social situations but also in the context of professional training and leisure activities. Especially at work there is a high risk that, due to permanent excessive demand, you are trapped in a vicious circle of chronic stress and the resulting risk of a mental disorder. Stressful working conditions can even make those people ill who are very robust by nature since innate and acquired stress protection can also fail under permanent stress. Therefore it is the responsibility of almost all social institutions and employers to create healthy social conditions and labor practices as well as positive environmental factors. Above all, however, there is need for action in the fostering of organisational resilience. Technological ad- vances, growing market dynamics or aging workforces are just a few examples of megatrends that may trig- ger crisis situations. These situations are cropping up in organisations such as companies or administrations ever more frequently. Such situations almost invariably call for rapid and comprehensive change to ensure a company’s survival. We also have to think about ways to improve resilience on a community level. These three levels (Individual, Organisation & Community) are helpful to build a powerful and sustainable prevention strategy. To achieve this, we have brought together experts from different institutions in the field of science and practice (sociologists, anthropologists, economists, pedagogues, psychiatrists, communication scientists, ergonomists and so on) in order to promote salu- togenesis at community level through the thematic fields of work/school/leisure (instead of pathogenetic approaches on which the health system has mainly focused so far). The foremost requirement for this is preliminary, comprehensive, communication research aiming at the identification of stigmatising attitudes and their replacement by new relevant information (for example by means of metaphors). It is only sound knowledge of how communication works or does not work that of- fers the possibility of establishing a broad know-how of resilience-promoting factors and framework conditions among citizens. The results are reflected in a binational project with a similar, newly founded initiative (Blackpool Better Start) in Blackpool, Great Britain. With this concept we also tread new paths when designing the context of health communication. The Palatinate region braces itself/you initiative as a socio-ecological and multi-agency approach is aimed at building networks for “knowledge mobilisation“, es- tablishing action alliances and learning platforms and various projects to be presented using the example of resilience in enterprises and resilience promoting programmes in schools and at a community level.