Dear friends and colleagues,
The Frantz Fanon Centre was opened in spring 1996 and carried on its activities in the framework of the Italian National Health Service. From 2002 on we cooperated with the Department of Mental Health, offering free consultation and treatment to immigrants and their families affected by psychological vulnerability, mental illness, or at risk of social drift. We had four rooms in which to receive patients.
One year ago, on January 15 2013 - for a choice due to political interferences - the public health unit where we were lodged decided to put an end to the experience. Although the service – which we created according to an innovative methodology that quickly configured a groundbreaking practice in Italy – has been outsourced to a private society, none of the 250 patients we were attending has received a treatment so far. We needed to keep on attending their – often urgent – psychological needs, but with no place where to do it.
For this reason, without any hesitation, we rented a new office in the downtown of Turin, (almost) in front of the Municipality, where we are clearly visible and alive now!
We decided to deal with costs that are unsustainable for us alone. For now, we have been able to refurbish the premises and to pay the rent on a regular basis.
Defending the right to mental health of the immigrant citizens during these seventeen years of activity should have appeared to this far-right administration as embarrassing or politically troubling. Pointing out that mental suffering can not be merely attributed to personal difficulties (refusing hence the current diagnostic reason which de-politicizes suffering) but that it occurs at the core of a “migratory situation” characterized by unfair policies, discriminatory practices and economies of violence was for them simply unacceptable. The officials who decided to stop funding the Frantz Fanon Centre were determined to let us know that we were too far on the side of immigrants and refugees, and too little with the Institutions.
Not for nothing we choose to follow Frantz Fanon’s teaching.
These are the reasons why we appeal to support our activities in this difficult moment, hoping that you can in turn spread over this call.
We send you the appeal translated in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, so you can help us to send the message to who may be sensitive to our commitment and work!
See also www.associazionefanon.it
Many thanks to all of you.
Frantz Fanon Association