31. August there was held a dialogue meeting in Snåsa. KBT had arranged the meeting with the intention of prompting a dialogue on user participation in the municipality.
The council’s old premises were filled by local service personnel and user representatives, in addition to the four KBT-workers. As the majority already knew each other, the tone was light from the beginning. After coffee and a snack, the meeting commenced.
Excellent work with children and adolescents
Part of what makes Snåsa so unique is its work with the young. Siv Anita Asum from the service for psychiatric health and drug rehabilitation spoke about preventive measures they conduct in conjunction with the school health services. Each student undergoes observation both on 9th class and the first year of high school, which may be a factor in why Snåsa has such low rates of high-school drop-outs. They also arrange courses for the parents where they take a solution-oriented method of communication called LØFT, intended to help children and adolescents handle different problems. These efforts have not been revealed through dialogue meetings in any other places.
A small place
Snåsa is a small place, with a higher “visibility” than in larger towns. There was a general agreement that people are more accepting of each other in a small municipality. Odd- and Mona Lütken, representatives for Mental Health Snåsa, explained that their facility lay hidden where no one could see you enter. Now they have moved to a more open area, but do not feel like there is any stigma in walking through the door.
Focus on user involvement
Much of the meeting did of course revolve around user participation. Snåsa has received grants to employ a peer specialist, and is in the process of doing so. They admitted it could be challenging to reach certain user demographics, but that there is still a full focus on user participation. “It’s good to have someone in different shoes” someone said in relation to the users being more involved.
The introduction from the service of psychiatry and drug treatment revealed many positive aspects about the municipality, especially regarding the work with young people. The people at the meeting felt it useful to discuss with KBTexpressions like “recovery”, and how one can work to include more users.
“We have it good here in Snåsa, but there is always something that can be improved.
Text: Jostein Kirknes Eriksen
Translation: Lasse Barr