February 2008DBIA The newsletter that keeps you intouch with Danish Brain InjuryAssociation.Danish Brain Injury Association.The newsletter that keeps you in touch withDanish Brain Injury Association.Inside this issue: People with acquired brain injury and mental disease. Summary of a book written by Mr. Preben Meilvang. Community Based Employment Innovation. DBIA visiting Uganda April/Mai 2008.Photos from Frederiksssund
One of the invisible disabilities after a brain injuryIt is most important to focus upon people with acquired braininjury because many of them can get psychological problemsas a result of a brain injury. The problems characterizes instrange behaviour and changing mentality. People with braininjury find it often difficult showing feelings, they can getaggressive and despairing. Some having tendency tounintentional crying or laughter. The problems mentionedabove are difficult to understand for relatives, care takers andauthorities.Summary of a bookThe following text is a summary of a tiny book written inDanish by Preben Meilvang in 2007, regarding inspiration andmotivation of users of the various institutions surroundingpsychiatry in Denmark. Preben Meilvang is a member of DBIAin Frederikssund, a town with 44.000 citizens. Frederikssundis situated in North Zealand 50 km north of the capital:Just the word ”psychiatry” was in 1977 able to fill me withgreat horror and fear. Few years before, my sister as well asmy mother committed suicide, and in the severe mentaldepression, I was frightened that I would do the same. Now in2007, thirty years later, life has given me periods of severemental illness, abuse of alcohol, and addiction of tranquilisers.
All this has been solved, and for the last five years, it hasbeen possible for me to lead a good life. Nowadays, I amemployed at a psychiatric hospital, and engaged as a teacheron several institutions for mental health. Said by the old yogamasters: “In wisdom, all defeats and mistakes can betransformed into splendid success”. The focus on increasedself-confidence is essential in any recovery process. It couldbe said that pain motivates positive change. This tiny bookdescribes positive possibilities for users of all institutions ofpsychiatry. In the hospitals, a good development has takenplace for the last 50 years in terms of vast improvements ofmedication, and anti depressive as well as anti psychoticmedicine has developed to be much better and effective andwith less side effects. The hotly contested ECT = ElectroCompulsive Treatment, is still used to cure very severeconditions, and 90% of such patients are cured. The powerused is 400 times less than applied in ECT for heart diseases.For the past 25 years, mental hospitals in Denmark havedeveloped into being very oriented towards a large group ofdifferent professions, as opposed to before, when everythingwas decided by psychiatrists. In the social part of psychiatryseveral places for users to live in common are in recent yearsestablished. Throughout Denmark various activity houseshave been constructed, and in such “to be places” only thefantasy sets the limit. Focus is on relations to the users,rather than on their diagnosis.Community Based Employment InnovationEmployment has its own chapter in the DPODs (DisabledPeoples Organizations Denmark) country strategy where itstates that creating employment is one of the salientstrategies for poverty eradication. The main causes mentioned
in the strategy to why PWD’s are not employed are that mostemployers are reluctant to employ PWDs since the majority ofthem think that PWDs would not be effective and efficient attheir places of work and the majority of PWDs have not hadan opportunity to pursue high caliber professions.UNAPD and DBIA find that something must be done to bringPWDs in focus concerning job and/or education opportunitytherefore we have decided to carry out a pre-appraisal.The process leading to this pre-appraisal, due to the fact thatDBIA and UNAPD through UBIP (Uganda Brain Injury Project)have experienced that several people with acquired braininjury and CP (Cerebral Palsy) would like to join the labourmarket. Many of the people in question are very poor andthey find themselves as a burden to their family. Having a job- they see themselves as breadwinners and as equal membersof society.We also experienced that other people with disabilities wouldlike to join the labour marked and/or get an education. Otherdisability groups will be included and be offered jobopportunities as well.DBIA visiting Uganda April/Mai 2008.Before Inge Schmidt and Frede Schulz arrives UNAPD willcarry out a survey in the two UBIPs divisions set out to be theproject area. The team from Denmark will take part in thepre-appraisal from 22nd of April to 2nd of Mai.