People with a severe mental illness (SMI) suffer from various, sometimes severe, mental disorders. These include, for instance, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Depressive Disorders. Besides the symptoms of the mental disorder, these people often have cognitive and social difficulties leading to problems in daily life (e.g. getting dressed, doing shopping, using public transport) and losing contact with society.
To offer these people a chance of resocialisation, we created the Buddy-project. In this project, clients from Lentis Zuidlaren are paired with Psychology students from the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and spend several hours together each month and participate in activities. These activities may include: going for a walk, visiting the cinema, cook a meal together or go shopping. Another possibility is the usage of the This is me wheel. In this way, we help people with rediscovering their identity; who they are and who they want to be in the future.
With this project we hope to offer a chance of resocialisation for people with SMI by building a friendly relationship. Essentially, with the Buddy project, we support and accept people with SMI in their entirety so that they gain (self-)trust to participate in ordinary societal activities again. Additionally, we want to offer the Psychology students a learning opportunity.