Fani Chondrou

Supporter / Facilitator / Youth worker

Psychologist – supporter – Department of staff support.

Description of your role 

Supporting: people with mental health difficulties, with no specific skills and or lack of language skills or long-term unemployment to get into employment.


Archipelagos – a social cooperative with one equal vote for everyone involved. Wanting to make a difference, change the context, make people have equal rights. Archipelagos is at the same time a mental health unit.

Field of Business

Cleaning services / administration / second hand shop / microrepairs.

Support Needs

Prerequisite: External support, adherence to medication and psychotherapy when necessary or when offered. Need for skill development so as to take over jobs and roles within the social cooperative and outside it.

Case Study:

Archipelagos: With a specific support, people with mental health difficulties take over more or less demanding cleaning tasks/take over administrative tasks. Fixed term or long- term employment, with full legal status

It falls within the psychiatric reform movement by a group of mental health professionals with the common goal to make a strong social trace, changing the context: People with mental health difficulties are viewed and treated as equal members of the society, being able to take part in the job market and with support, take over entrepreneurial activities.

From the mindset which states that people with mental health difficulties are out of the asylums, are useful members of the society and are empowered. Also, Archipelagos is seen as a “launching platform”, where people change the view they have about themselves, acquire skills, feel empowered and then can move on to various entrepreneurial initiatives.

It is established, having support of the legal system of social cooperatives which allows an equal vote for people with mental health difficulties/participation in the board of directors.

The severity of a person’s situation-the person needs to learn i.e. how do I exist in a group? “What does it mean I take over a job?”/lack of social support or understanding(stigma)/lack of already established work structures to allow people to move after Archipelagos- sensitization work needs to be done with the job owners who take over a project / lack of funds and/or know-how to provide skill training. 

The empowerment offered through the exercises/the change in the mindset/the feeling of being able to work and be an active member in the society and not an outsider/change of identity

Continuation of support and skill training is needed, in order to solidify results / reduce the social, personal and family stigma.

What are your plans for the future ? 

Creating cooperations in educational contexts ( i.e. Academy of Entrepreneurship)to offer skills training and support to people with mental health difficulties in order to take over various employment roles.