On structural social exclusion from a different perspective. A case study of the Social Enterprise “Zielony Dół”
The case of closing down the „Zielony Dół” centre in Kraków, which has until recently effectively implemented an innovative health, social and professional recovery programme for sufferers of a serious mental crisis has shocked the public opinion in the Małopolska Province and in Poland. It has particularly cast a new light on the significance of the prejudice against the people who have suffered mental crisis; the prejudice which is especially manifested in uncooperative responses of individuals, groups and communities, and which results in distancing attitudes, unequal treatment or even exclusion. It is also embedded in legal regulations and persistent habits of public institutions which, in principle, should be free of any discriminating practice and actively counteract any form of prejudice. These notes on the events surrounding the “Zielony Dół” situation may become a starting point for the analysis, discussions and further conclusions about the process of structural stigmatization of the mentally ill. We are publishing them with a strong conviction that public discussion about this issue is vital to the reality of mental health protection in Poland, and eventually, to our own professionalism and humanity.