Residential Building ‘The Swallow’ – an Initiative of Affected Citizens for Women with Psychiatric Disorders

1,000 Euro Prize 2012

Country: Austria

Region: Styria

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Gender-sensitive work, Poverty, Psychosocial impairments

Project owner: Verein „Die Schwalbe“ – Wohn- und Beschäftigungsinitiative für Frauen in Lebenskrisen

Responsible person: Mag. Angelika Vanek-Enyinnaya

Website: Weblink

What is it about?
Up to seven women, after a long stay in a psychiatric hospital, can live for up to one year in the ‘Swallow’, a residential building founded and managed by affected persons. Medical and therapeutic care is provided individually outside the home. The house is run on a daily schedule from Monday to Friday. That includes gardening and kitchen work, as well as offering a variety of opportunities to relax. The women residing at the building are assisted in the organisation of their day-to-day lives. In this way, long-term stability may be achieved and lead to a new, independent start in life. At the same time, the founders make public appearances where they speak out against people with mental illnesses being discriminated against.
Appreciation of the Jury
Peer-work in the psychiatric field in Austria is still little known. People with their own experience of crises and psychiatric treatment rely on their knowledge of what helped them, what was missing and why in order to assist the acutely affected. They also bear witness to the fact that there is a way out. By awarding the prize, we wish to encourage ‘The Swallow’, an initiative by affected citizens, to continue on its chosen way. We hope that many will join on this path.