Currently the Valencia Region offers municipal services for care and monitoring of people with serious mental health problems (Sasem) in 41 towns and cities.
On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, yesterday, the general director of Functional Diversity and Mental Health, Elena Albert, highlighted the importance of having a service such as Sasem in the region, which has a multidisciplinary team coordinated with mental health units, “with a comprehensive approach, focused on the recovery of the person within their family and community environment.”
Albert highlighted that the regional government has always supported the idea of people with mental health problems remaining in their immediate environment, and it has worked in that direction on instruments that promote individuals’ autonomy and allow their social inclusion, to help them develop a fully independent life.
Sasem was born out of the desire to care for people aged between 18 and 65 with serious mental health problems, who could also be treated by their nearest mental health unit, and who present “a series of needs that have become more evident as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Albert said.
She explained that the data from towns and cities already offering this service in the region represents 61% of all those taking part in this programme in 2021, an amount that will increase in the next three years “until reaching 65 towns and cities that will have the service up and running in 2024 “, and to which could be added six associations that have applied for membership.
By provinces, of the towns and cities that currently offer the service, 23 are in Valencia province, 14 in Alicante province and four in Castellón province.
Lack of family support, lack of sufficient capacities and skills to live independently at home, difficulties in accessing resources in their own environment and community, or specific support to return home after being admitted to a psychiatric unit, “These are needs that we have detected in these people and which must be met by the administrations in a specific, singular and dignified way”, Albert said.
To respond to these needs, the Generalitat has designed the SASEM programme based on respect for the condition of people with serious mental health problems and their consideration as citizens who are members of society, with potential that can be developed with the necessary support.
To do this, the team of professionals works from three areas of intervention: the area of healthy habits, both physical and mental, the area of activities of daily life and the area of community integration.
The number of professionals assigned to the Sasem Programme in the Valencia Region for the 2021-2024 period is expected to be 373, although this forecast may be increased depending on the needs detected. In addition, it has been established that each team has a psychologist, a social worker and a social educator.
The Sasem teams will attend to people between the ages of 18 and 65, affected to differing degrees in their personal, family, social and work spheres who suffer from a serious mental disorder, who present difficulties in connecting with the mental health resources available to them, lack autonomy in making decisions and managing their personal, family and social life.
Likewise, the service is aimed at people without previous diagnosis and treatment, who are in the initial process of their mental illness and need guidance and support with mental health resources, both at an individual and family level.