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The value of Fundacion En Pié 

 

Dear Editor

My son was diagnosed with a severe mental health problem called Schizophrenia in his early 20´s.  We were told he had a very severe case and at the time he was not communicating/talking and were warned by the specialists that it was unknown even with the right kind of help if they could help.

We struggled for more than two years, isolated from society due to the stigma attached to this type illness to find the right help.

But I am very happy to report that my son does now communicate and has learnt to live with his voices and be part of this society.  We have met some wonderful people along our journey who have supported both him and us.

Initially we found it very hard to talk to anyone about what was happening but we have since found that it is much better for him, for us and all those we support to talk about this.

We set up a Guardianship Mental Health Foundation called “En Pié”  (meaning “Take a Stand” in English) in 2011. VAT no: G76539808

Mr John Reid who I work for @ Reids of Norwich Ltd came to visit us when we first set up and saw what were were doing.  He gave us the most tremendous boost in our early days by purchasing us a brand new minibus which has enabled us to make hospital visits, take people out to Natural Parks and get involved in sporting activities.

We have since opened the “Drop in Point” … a place where people can call in and talk to someone on an informal basis about mental health and also functions as a Charity shop.  We are still in the early stages of this new venture but we have had some amazing support from the local comunity and have also spoken to many people who are struggling to find the right help.  From here we sign post people to get the help they need and also offer them support and the activities we organise.

At the Foundation we do not receive any government funding, we rely 100% on donations and by organising our own events which serve also to raise awareness in the community, social inclusion and anti-stigma.

This last Saturday, we would have already enjoyed our first sponsored bike ride from Teide down to Los Gigantes.

I hope this will all help to draw attention to our Foundation and if you would like to find out more, please visit  www.enpie.org  With many thanks

Lisa Allard, Fundacion En Pié