HELPING PATIENTS WITH MENTAL ILLNESS CREATING THEIR OWN SPACE

PUBLISHED MONDAY 4.5.2020

Roskilde Festival is non-profit

Every year, Roskilde Festival donates all profits to humanitarian, other charitable, non-profit and cultural work with a special focus on children and young people. Since 1972, the festival has generated more than DKK 420,000,000 (approx. EUR 56,400,000) for these purposes.

‘Young Voices’ is the most ambitious open call the festival has ever launched. 32 initiatives within arts, music, social change, environment and climate have received a total of DKK 15,000,000 (approx. EUR 2,000,000) of the festival’s profits from 2019.

Danish Red Cross Youth receives 800.000 DKK for the creation of youth cafés in hospitals and residential institutions.

Sara is 24 years old. She has attempted suicide several times and been hospitalized because of that. In the hospital she doesn’t see herself as young. She feels more like her grandmother. She has experienced not being able to be with friends and family for birthdays, Christmas and so on. The isolation is stealing her youth.

“There is a window but it doesn’t open. I have felt only like a patient. Not a young person.”

In order to deal with this isolation, she – with help from Red Cross Denmark Youth - started a hospital café. A space where patients like herself can be young with other young people and for a little while leave thoughts about medicine and diagnosis behind.

People like Sara needs support in order to help themselves helping others. Red Cross Denmark Youth is working on gathering volunteers in areas with hospitals and residential institutions where it will be possible to make cafés.

Red Cross Denmark Youth has many years of experience working with professionals in the health system and has taken on the challenge of creating the framework needed to establish cafes and meeting places for young people who are forced to stay indoors.

The initiative however often comes from patients themselves. The philosophy is to view people with mental illness not only as someone who needs care but also as ressources.

Louise Graabæk from Red Cross Denmark Youth says that they hope former patients will join as volunteers.

“We have seen that young people carrying heavy emotional baggage are more than willing to not only tell their story but also put the words to action. They are eager to make a change.”

Read more about The Danish Red Cross Youth on their website