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Stepping Stones – a partnership for mental health recovery

In the beginning of 2023, four organizations active in mental health – Hugarafl from Iceland, Minte Forte from Romania, L’Ovile from Italy and Herstel Talent from The Netherlands – started the project Stepping Stones, funded by the European Union through the Erasmus+ program. 

The project focuses on mental health recovery and, as indicated by its name, it metaphorically aims to lay the stepping stones for people to cross over the difficult times in their lives, and to not be carried away by the currents.  

More concretely, in the next two years, Stepping Stones will develop innovative tools that will enhance the mental health recovery education for adults, as follows:

  • A visual guide that will illustrate by graphic means some of the key principles, models, components of recovery, as well as metaphors to be used in understanding and working with the recovery process.
  • A set of educational videos that will introduce the fundamental ideas of recovery, examples of recovery stories, examples of practices that can support recovery.
  • A handbook that will contain exercises meant to help plan and self-direct one’s recovery, reflect on and discuss different recovery components and supportive factors.

As the organizations in the partnership understand it, recovery from mental health is the process of taking charge of one’s life and creating a satisfying and meaningful living for oneself, with or without mental health challenges. It’s not about ‘’fixing’’ the person by treating some symptoms, but about cultivating hope, building skills and knowledge and generating healing that will enable them to navigate difficult life circumstances or personal histories.

People who have experienced recovery, psychologists and other mental health professionals work together in all phases of developing, testing and disseminating the recovery education tools in this project. 

Once the recovery education tools will be created, they will be shared with  other organizations and mental health workers and peers, from the countries involved and from around Europe, through webinars, online channels and in-person events.