Our principles are personal recovery and healing, empowerment and working together as equals.
Hugarafl (e. Mindpower) is an Icelandic peer run NGO founded in the year 2003 by individuals with a
vast personal and professional knowledge of the mental healthcare system. These individuals had the
common goal of wanting to change the mental healthcare system in Iceland and make it better.
Everything that Hugarafl does is decided upon and done by people with lived experiences of emotional
distress and/or professional background working as equals. Participating in the work of Hugarafl is for
everyone working on their mental health on their own terms.
We strive to create an empowering environment that promotes personal recovery for individuals with
lived experiences and their loved ones. The uniqueness of Hugarafl is the individual approach taken
and the collaboration between people with lived experiences and people from a professional background.
We work together as equals, decide on the running of the organisation and voice our opinions.
The work of Hugarafl is based on the ideology of Empowerment by Judi Chamberlin and the Empowerment
Paradigm of Recovery, Healing, and Development by Daniel Fisher. This is the basis of the day to day running
of the organisation and individual self discovery. Participating in the work of Hugarafl is on each and every
individuals’ terms. Every person has the autonomy to discover their own path of healing.
The goals of Hugarafl are:
- To have a positive impact on the Icelandic mental healthcare system.
- To promote and work according to Empowerment and the Empowerment Paradigm of Recovery,
- Healing, and Development.
- To guard the human rights of individuals with lived experiences.
- To eradicate prejudice related to emotional and mental challenges in Icelandic society.
- Hugarafl and our members have various projects we work on, including:
- Mental health education for high school and junior college students.
- Peer support.
- Hearing voices peer group.
- Support group for friends and families.
- Our podcast, Klikkið.
- Empowering group work for 18 – 30 year olds, Unghugar (e. Young Minds).
- International collaborative projects.
- Art work.
- Yoga for mind, body and spirit.
- Conferences, Lectures and workshops.
- Writing articles, media coverage and legislative input.
Within Hugarafl people with lived experiences and people from a professional background work hand in hand.
Employees work alongside members as equals. Employees provide individual counseling as well as leading
groups and other work. These individuals work according to the ideology of Hugarafl with Empowerment and
the Empowerment Paradigm of Recovery, Healing, and Development at the forefront.
The service Hugarafl provides is:
- 111 counseling.
- Working with families.
- Follow through.
- Working through emotional trauma.
Empowerment means we have control of our lives. Empowerment is based on individual discovery and the ability
to have influence outside ourselves.
Real personal recovery is possible. There’s always hope. We define our own recovery. When we’ve recovered,
“traditional” life follows with the usual challenges and up’s and down’s. Our collective human need is to
to our physical and mental health.
Equality is reached when people with lived experiences and people from a professional background
collaborate as equals.
We appreciate the experiences of these two groups as equal. The individual is always the expert of their own life.
We choose to talk about mental challenges instead of “mental illness” and other terms from the traditional medical model.
We believe that mental challenges are a combination of one’s life story, trauma, environment and lack of social support.
An individual can go through an emotional crisis and fulfill the terms of diagnosis but still recover and have a good life.
Hugarafl safeguards the human rights of individuals with lived experiences. Our philosophy is that nothing should
be decided about us without us. We should be given information, varied choices and allowed to make informed decisions
regarding our path of healing.
Participation in the work of Hugarafl is open to everyone, 18 years and older, as long as you want to work on your personal recovery.
It’s free to participate, no requirement of residence, nor do you need a referral or diagnosis.
Would you like to know more about Hugarafl and get to know our work?
Call +354-414-1550 for more information.