Kleoniki Giannakopoulou

Supporter / Facilitator / Youth worker

Supporter-Employer-Owner of ANIMA NGO

Description of your role 

Support people with severe mental health difficulties while in crises with no medication and no forced hospitalization, activating each person’s network and the resources of the residential community.


ANIMA store

ANIMA social cooperative (residential house)

Field of Business

Production of handmade objects, by residents with severe mental health problems, who, together with volunteers and mental health professionals take active part in generating income so that services of supporting people in crisis can be offered free of charge(entrepreneurship towards a common social goal-activation of the powers of the community).

Support Needs

Skills training, empowerment to believe that they can do it, support in financial and advertisement issues, support in turning ideas into reality, follow up supervision.

Case Study:

ANIMA store

An alternative way of seeing and treating mental health illness and crisis intervention by creating an enterprise that can stand as an inclusive environment.

A model of inclusion and of equal rights for the people with this specific disability (mental health problems), according to which people are empowered to see themselves differently, use less medication, develop meaning in life, live together and act towards the common good (producing income so as to help more people in crisis). Principles of Deep Democracy are applied.

It is established but it is always open to changes.

Lack of social inclusion, the difficulty of making the rules in a democratic way, work closely towards the common goal putting aside individual differences, being competitive and producing competitive products, dealing with emotional complications, dealing with Covid-19 restrictions, education in the different mindset of openness.

Personal empowerment (of the supporter and the person with severe mental health difficulty), specific soft skills training, development of self- confidence through change in the identity, the mindset and through learning how to work closely together with people very different from each other (acceptance of diversity), offering of meaning, be as functional as one can be.

  • Each person is unique- there is no objectivity
  • It is important to create inner contentment (emphasis in the process, not only in the content)
  • Revisiting the concept of openness to produce tangible results
  • Ongoing training on skills and mindset is needed for inclusion and entrepreneurship

What are your plans for the future ? 

-Follow-up supervision is needed

-People from the store can participate in European projects to make their job internationally known

-Training towards changing mindset towards mental illness and what a person with disability can do

-Advocacy for equal rights and acts-using Deep Democracy principles