The Icelandic Mental Health Alliance (Geðhjálp)
Geðhjálp is the association of 7.500 members, users, family members, professionals and enthusiasts for improving the lives of people with mental disorders and mental disabilities in our society. The association works towards improving services, defending rights and preventing prejudice by advocacy, consultation and distribution of information and knowledge. The values of Geðhjálp are courage, respect for personal dignity and solidarity.
The advocacy of Geðhjálp involves assisting people in pursuing their legal rights, for example by providing information about complaints procedures and providing advice to the respective solutions, organizations, companies and the government. For example, Geðhjálp writes criticism about proposed bills for changes in the health care system and works on board committees for public policy-making. Further information is available from Grímur Atlason, General Manager of Geðhjálp.
The consultation of Geðhjálp involves consultation by phone, email and interviews for users, family members, employers and other people in the close environment of people with mental disorders and mental disabilities. The association neither asks for a referral or a Geðhjálp membership, although a membership is gladly accepted. The consultation is free of charge and there is normally a short waiting period for interviews. Further information is available from Helga Arnardóttir, the Geðhjálp consultant.
Geðhjálp organizes meetings, lectures, and conferences on the matters of people with mental disorders and mental disabilities. The association also houses the operations of four self-help groups at their residence at Borgartún 30. The association employees are always ready to provide education and knowledge about mental health and the operations of the association, on demand. The association throws regular events during the winter.
Geðhjálp works on behalf of people with mental disorders and mental disabilities in the public sphere. The association has also campaigned for the voices of individual users being heard in the media. One of the goals of taking part in the public discussion is to prevent prejudice against people with mental disorders and mental disabilities. This is an urgent matter since this group experiences the greatest amount of prejudice in our society, out of individual groups of disabled and non-disabled people. Disabilities based on mental disorders affect over 38% of disabled people or over 6.400 individuals. In addition, almost 25% of people in the western world are estimated to battle a mental disorder at some stage during their lives.
By becoming a member of Geðhjálp, you contribute to the fight for better services for and the rights of people with mental disorders and mental disabilities. You can become a member by filling out this registration form. Further information about Geðhjálp is available from our website and from our Facebook page.