Self Help

Some notes about our self help experience.

As we  have told in the presentation of this website, AISMe has been established in 1993 with the aim of supporting the very first psychiatric self help groups in Italy starting from the Florence and Prato experiences. Our self help story combines some Italian special event as the closure of the psychiatric hospitals (law 180, 1978) with foreign experiences, mainly related to the anglosaxon enviroment e to the associations.
The fisrt meeting of a group of Italians with the psychiatric self help movement was in England in 1985, during the WFMH congress organized by Mind. The group of Italians, composed by service professionals and users, used to   have meetings at the Casa della Cultura of Florence, a place for leisure and culture managed by ARCI a voluntary organisation. The aim  of the weekly meetings was to echange personal experiences informally and far from therapeutic settings.  Many exchanges occurred since then between the Casa della Cultura Group, international organisations as WFMH, to ENUSP,  the Florence and Prato services and local associations. All that brougth to the development of important events, see below.

Some steps of self help in Florence and Prato in connection to AISMe, to Casa della Cultura and to services and local governments of Florence and Prato.

I) “I Folli fra noi”, audiovisivo sull’esperienza della Casa della Cultura di Firenze. Utenti, operatori e cittadini nella comunita`,
WFMH congress, Brighton (UK)1985

II) “Il Questionario Europeo sulla Soddisfazione degli Utenti -European User satisfaction Questionnaire-” (EUQ), Copenaghen, Newcastle, Prato, Waterford. Utenti, operatori e managers insieme per valutare i servizi.
WFMH Congress, Chiba (Japan)1993.

III) “Intergruppo sul self help, l’esperienza di Prato”, Metodologie Self help in gruppi diversi: di utenti, di familiari e di operatori.
WFMH congress, Lathi (Finland) 1997.

IV) “Interfaccia fra Psichiatria e Salute Mentale, l’esperienza di Prato”,
WFMH congress, Vancouver(Canada) 2001

V) “Sistemi di Salute Mentale”,
AISMe-Prato Service seminars, Prato 2002-5

VI) “Sistemi di Salute Mentale”,
AISMe-Casa della Cultura Project
MHE conference, Vienna 2007

and other national and international organizations
especially in Florence and Prato


The madmen among us (WFMH, Brigthon 1985)

-National and International self help conferences
(ERC/WFMH, Prato1989, 1991)

– User Evaluation Questionnaire
(ERC/WFMH, Prato, Copenhagen, Newcastle, Waterford, 1991-1996)


– Interface between Psychiatry and Mental Health
(MHE, Rotterdam 2001)

-Mental health Systems Seminars
(AISMe, Prato 2002-5)

-Good practices for combating exclusion
(MHE 2005-2007)