ActivaMent: a Way of Being and Doing
Beyond our aims, there are some characteristics that make ActivaMent a unique association in the field of mental health in Catalonia.
Acting from First-hand Experience
We are an organization created, organized and run by and for people who have experienced mental disorder.
It is appreciated any support received from anyone, diagnosed or not, in fighting for equal justice in the field of mental health. ActivaMent, though, reserves the right to make and implement decisions to those who have experienced or are going through mental disorder.
Working as a Non-Hierarchical Organization
We are a horizontal organization which takes into account each one of our members’ opinions, whatever their position is within the association.
Meetings and decision-making processes at ActivaMent are open, as well as information can be freely accessed by all our members for that purpose. This enables the sharing of the management and the responsibility of our activities by all our members, instead of being centralized just in one board or one managing authority.
We are Open to a Diversity of Voices
We treat different voices with tolerance and encourage free speech giving every individual the chance to speak out and make any ideas and proposals heard.
From ActivaMent, we do not try to be the voice of our collective because it is simply not possible to have one single voice, but many different voices. As it happens in politics, or other fields, different people may stand up for different ideas and values. In this regard, we pursue to confer the power of having your say in order to have the greatest possible impact.
We Work for the Empowerment in Individuals with Mental Disorder
We offer an open work space at ActivaMent where decision-making takes place; where active citizenship plays its part and, where we become the captains of our own life.
Being empowered does mean neither studying a course on “empowering” and its meaning nor doing an isolate exercise in a playful context. Quite the opposite, in fact, empowering requires an everyday practice whereby everyone can build their capacities and take control of their own lives.
We Work as a Direct Democracy System:
Decisions are taken in a democratic and an assembly style by all those members willing to participate with their voices and votes in our association. Ours is a system of taking personal and collective responsibility, not delegating responsibilities to others.
It is a limited exercise for active citizenship, and often the opposite of empowerment, to vote every four or five years, or at best, to participate in the annual approval of budgets. We understand that decision-making processes are essential for both in the active citizenship’s learning and in people’s empowerment. Member’s participation must therefore be fostered in each of the entity’s strategic decisions.
Working with a Gender Perspective:
In the world of mental health, discrimination against women is twofold just for being women and suffering from mental disorder. This is translated into both having less opportunities of recovery and social rehabilitation. We work to reverse this situation in our day-to-day actions.
Now, working with a gender perspective does not only mean being careful with the words we use and the distribution of jobs within our association. These are required tasks but no sufficient. In addition, it is not necessary to operate with patriarchal power structures or with anachronistic leadership system consisting of one leader and his/her followers-subordinators. In fact, it is power institution structures and social dynamics, rather than people, what foster patriarchy.
We Sympathise with other Groups Discriminated against:
From ActivaMent, we express solidarity, cooperate and network with other collectives suffering from prejudice and discrimination.
Psychological suffering is caused by all kind of discrimination and marginalization. It is therefore claimed as our own fight all the efforts against such acts of injustice; despite the fact that our main working area and target have to do with the world of mental health and people with mental disorder.